The stores are all decked out for the holidays and people’s hearts are full of good cheer. And even though giving Tuesday has already passed, this is still the season to help people in need.
If you live or are visiting Denver Colorado, there is a new way to give donations to charitable organizations. It looks just like an ordinary vending machine, but it gives so much more than just a drink or snack.
This Giving Machine, according to The Good News Network allows its users to donate to local and international charities like UNICEF, WaterAid, International Medical Corps, and more just by swiping your credit card. So, instead of getting a bag of chips, you can donate food, medicine, clean water, hygiene supplies, or two chickens. The items range from $2 to $320.
“These Giving Machines are an example of the big things that can happen when many people give just a little,” Sister Bonnie H. Cordon, young women general president of the Church of the Latter-day-Saints that are running this program said in a church press release.
The Giving machines are part of the #Light The World campaign, and this is the third Christmas season. Last year, the program raised $2.3 million in donations.
The Denver location in Writer Square was added this year and joins nine other locations around the world including: London, United Kingdom; Manila, Philippines; New York, New York; and Salt Lake City, Utah.
The machines are available through January 1, 2020 and 100 percent of all donations will be used by the partner charities for the item pictured of items or services that are more urgently needed at the time. All of the costs of the machines are covered by the church.
You can see the total of donations that have been collected so far on the #Light The World website. This site will be continuously updated.
This is not the first time that vending machines have been re-purposed to do good. There is a vending machine in Muncie, Indiana that dispenses free blankets and other essential supplies to the homeless. This machine does not accept money, only tokens that are provided to the people that need them.
There is a vending machine in Nottingham, UK that dispenses water, food, snacks, toothbrushes, and warm socks for the homeless. This project is run by Action Hunger. Other vending machines are used by literacy programs to give free books to kids and one that dispenses short stories.
This unique idea of taking something as familiar as a vending machine can be used to do good by many organizations. So, if you happen to be in one of the ten cities that house the giving machines, don’t think twice, just swipe.