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LDS church unveils ‘Giving Machines’ to help New Yorkers give back to families in need

Photo by Aidan Seiden

Following the two most popular shopping events of the year, Black Friday and Cyber Monday, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints unveiled their innovative philanthropic “Giving Machines” on “Giving Tuesday,” at a ribbon-cutting ceremony in Rockefeller Center, declaring this year’s theme “Light the World with Love.”

With only two simple steps, these modern, easy-to-use redesigned “vending machines” provide New Yorkers and tourists with a convenient opportunity to satisfy their altruistic propensities, just in time for what has become widely recognized as “The Giving Season.”

The Machines were first introduced in Salt Lake City, Utah in 2017, and were developed and funded by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints as a way to facilitate a more largely conducive way for people to give to charity on a global scale. The initial response to the machines were staggering, resulting in “more than $550,000 in donations,” according to the Light the World website, and only continued to gain momentum each year. Unfortunately, due to the COVID-19 virus, The Giving Machines were not available in 2020, but they are back and better than ever.

Photo by Aidan Seiden

Now, Giving Machines can be found in 10 different cities across the country—including Las Vegas, Nevada, Nashville, Tennessee, Honolulu, Hawaii, and Orem, Utah to name a few—with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints financing all operational expenditures for this project to ensure that 100% of the proceeds they receive, gets distributed to each charity

In collaboration with The Church of Latter-day Saints, each city has a combination of local and foreign non-profit charities and organizations that are assisting in providing items and supplies to fill the machines.

For New York City, the charities participating are: “Unicef USA, USA for UNHCR, The UN Refugee Agency, WaterAid, Care USA, The New York Board of Rabbis, Mariano Rivera Foundation, Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of New York, The Actors Fund and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints,” according to a recent press release. 

Each Giving Machine offers 30 items to choose from, with prices ranging from $5 to $250. After a swift swipe of a credit card and a push of a button “you could donate anything from a single goat or two chickens to providing a household cleaning kit, polio vaccines or even a day at Yankee Stadium for an orphaned teen,” according to the Light the World website. Additionally, after a person makes a contribution, the Giving Machine “dispenses a postcard featuring an image and description of their donation.”

Photo by Aidan Seiden

So this year, if you find yourself wandering around Rockefeller Center with a few extra dollars in your wallet, stop by the Giving Machines—located just south of the Center’s beloved Christmas tree— and make a contribution. From supplying winter scarves, face masks and even providing a community with a long-term source of clean water, every donation helps.

“It’s a wonderful way for New Yorkers and tourists alike to give back this holiday season,” according to the Light the World website, “And it’s a great, teachable moment for families.”

Photo by Aidan Seiden
Photo by Aidan Seiden
Photo by Aidan Seiden

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