Global campaign has raised $15 million for nonprofits
By Jill Adair | Digital Free Press
Light the World Giving Machines — “vending” machines that work in reverse to make giving to a favorite charity an easy and fun experience — open to the public this Friday, Nov. 18, at Water Tower Plaza in downtown Gilbert, and next Tuesday, Nov. 22, at Murphy Park in Glendale.
Imagine going to a vending machine and instead of purchasing a beverage or candy bar paying for a much-needed item like food, clothing, baby supplies, medicine, farming equipment and even beehives and chickens for those in need locally and around the world. Prices range from a few dollars to a few hundred dollars for items in these categories: clean water, food and livestock, health and wellness, education, housing and shelter, clothing and refugee aid.
This year, the Giving Machines in the Valley will feature items for these local nonprofit organizations:
East Valley, Water Tower Plaza, 45 W. Page, Gilbert
- Midwest Food Bank
- Gathering Humanity
- Special Olympics Arizona
- House of Refuge
- African Girls Hope Foundation
West Valley, Murphy Park, 58th and Glendale avenues, Glendale
- St. Vincent de Paul
- OCJ Kids
- Water for People
- Lutheran Social Services
- Arizona Desert Mission Food Bank
- Chicanos Por La Causa
Special Olympics of Arizona is featured in the Giving Machines for the first time this year.
Speaking of the impact the donations will have locally, Jamie Heckerman, president & CEO of Special Olympics Arizona, said that “the donations from the Light the World Giving Machine will ensure individuals with intellectual disabilities across the state can continue to receive free services, high quality sports equipment and, overall, a sports experience on par with high-level sports organizations.”
This year’s global nonprofit participants are:
- African Girls Hope Foundation
- American Red Cross
- Church World Service
- International Development Enterprises
- Lifting Hands International
- Mentors International
- Water For People
- World Food Program
Launched in 2017, the purpose of the Light the World Giving Machines, sponsored by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, is to “invite people everywhere to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ and follow His teaching to share our light with others,” church officials say, adding that the church covers all operational costs so that 100% of donations go directly to the charity of choice. Only credit and debit cards are accepted at the machines.
Since the Giving Machines first appeared in 2017, total contributions have reached $15 million, according to officials.
This year, the Light the World Giving Machines are in 28 cities worldwide. They will be in Arizona at the following locations on these dates. Visitors at these sites are encouraged to post photos on social media with the hashtag #LightTheWorld.
East Valley (Gilbert): Nov. 18 – Jan. 1, 9 a.m. – 11 p.m.
West Valley (Glendale): Nov. 22 – Jan. 7, 9 a.m. – 10 p.m.
An addition, mobile Giving Machines will make brief stops in other cities in Arizona, including:
Flagstaff: Nov. 16 – Dec. 1
Tucson: Dec. 17 – Jan. 1
Gila Valley: Dec. 3 – Dec. 16
Those unable to visit a machine in person can still participate by making an online donation at LightTheWorld.org/give.
EDITOR’S NOTE: Ms. Adair is chief copy editor at the Arizona Digital Free Press.
The East Valley Giving Machines return to Water Tower Plaza, 45 W. Page, in Gilbert. (Photo: Jill Adair/DigitalFreePress.com)