"Imagine swiping your credit card at a vending machine - but instead of buying a candy bar for yourself, you’re buying a sheep for a family in a third-world country. Or a polio vaccine. Or a pair of shoes. Or 100 meals for your local food bank. With the #LightTheWorld Giving Machines, that’s exactly what happens. The Giving Machines provide a way for people to follow the example of Jesus to help those in need and make the Christmas season a little more meaningful for themselves and for countless others."
The description from the Giving Machine website lays out an intriguing concept of how we can help those both home and abroad through the simple convenience of a vending machine.Have you ever bought dental care or tiger worms from a vending machine? It is a uniquely special experience to donate to others this way. The Giving Machines are located in just over two dozen cities around the world, and we get to have them in our very own downtown Denver!
Denver’s Mayor Michael Hancock has been a big proponent of this program. "The power of these machines is that anybody can give, no matter what your station in life, no matter how much money you have, anybody can walk up to these machines and give because no amount is too small," said Hancock. "Over the last four years since we've had these machines in Denver, we've raised over $1.3 million." CBS News Colorado.
Working with Mayor Hancock, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has set up the Giving Machines as part of their “Light the World Campaign” each holiday season to help spread aid and holiday cheer to many in need. They have partnered with charities around the world along with local charities to create a custom vending menu. Items range from
$3 to $250. You can purchase multiple items in a single transaction up to $3000.
Our local Denver charities included are: A Precious Child, empowering children in need; Doctors Care, health access for low-incomes; Habitat for Humanity of Metro Denver, affordable housing; Metro Caring, providing nutritious food and hunger solutions; and Village Exchange Center, serving immigrants and refugees. The three international charities are: iDE Global, creating livelihood opportunities; Mentors International, addressing generational poverty; and Water for People, making high-quality drinking water accessible.
The experience is also educational, with each vending selection describing how the item is used and the difference it can make in someone’s life. Here are a couple examples:For $50, provide a family of four with nutritious food for one week. For $18, buy three ducks with business mentoring to provide income for a family from duck egg production and breeding.
The Giving Machines are at Writer Square each holiday season from Thanksgiving Week through New Year's Day. They are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. You can plan your visit at givingmachinesdenver.org. Help make the difference; help light the world.