Vending Machines Are Now ‘Giving Machines’ in Where People Can Donate Chickens, Blankets, Boots, or Basketballs

Employing the common and easily understood method of the vending machine—these Giving Machines allow passersby in American cities to make a charitable donation to local and global causes.

Catering to impulsive givers to indulge their altruistic impulses, they can use the vending machine to purchase 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.

When donors make their purchase via credit card, the Giving Machine dispenses a postcard featuring an image and description of their donation.

Of the 10 cities with vending machines nationwide, one of them will be located at Rockefeller Center in New York City, just south of its famed Christmas tree. The machine will kickoff on Tuesday, Nov. 30—the day known as “Giving Tuesday”—with speeches from people at UNICEF, WaterAid, the UNHCR, CARE, the Mariano Rivera Foundation, and other charities.

The first Giving Machine ever installed opened in 2017 in Salt Lake City, Utah, where the sponsoring organization, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, is headquartered.

The Utah pilot program was impressive, yielding donations totaling more than a half million dollars. One year later, the response was even stronger, with more than $2.3 million donated through a total of 92,190 Giving Machine transactions.

In 2019, the program expanded, and donations topped $6.2 million—with two locations outside the United States that year: in the Philippine capitol and in London.

After being halted in 2020 due to COVID, the Giving Machines are back, in ten different U.S. cities—with the sponsoring Church covering all administrative costs for this campaign so that 100 percent of each donation goes to each charity.

Giving Machine

The machines launch on the following dates in these cities and will remain operational throughout the Christmas season:

• Las Vegas, Nevada– Currently active in downtown Summerlin Mall
• Nashville, Tennessee– Currently active at 18 Bridgestone Arena
• Honolulu, Hawaii– Currently active in the Pearlridge Center
• Orem, Utah– University Place Mall on November 23, 2021
• Salt Lake City, Utah– City Creek Center on November 24, 2021
• Oakland, California– Temple Hill on November 27, 2021
• Gilbert, Arizona– Water Tower Plaza on November 29, 2021
• Denver, Colorado– Writer Square on November 30, 2021
• Kansas City, Missouri– Crown Center on November 30, 2021
• New York City, New York– Rockefeller Plaza on November 30, 2021

The Giving Machines will feature over two dozen choices for charity initiatives and items to purchase, including:

Meal for a Family
Warm Blanket
Five Sleeping Mats
Solar Lantern
Winter Clothing
One Tent
One Pair of Gloves
One Dozen Pairs of Socks
Two Winter Scarves
Winter Boots
Weekly Metro Card
Two Basketballs
One Month of Meals
Emergency WASH Kit
Polio Vaccines for 100 Kids
Five Menstrual Care Kits
Rainwater Storage Tank
Water Pump
Install a Well
Two Chickens
One Goat
Household Cleaning Kit
One Laptop
A Day at Yankee Stadium
Portable Vaccine Carrier
Spiritual Care of Seniors
Protect a Health Care Worker
Passover Meal for Two People
The Mariano Rivera Foundation
USA for UNHCR – The UN Refugee Agency
Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of New York
The Actors Fund, a safety net for performing arts and entertainment professionals over their lifespan

In 2019, a total of 255,814 items were purchased from ten Giving Machine locations around the world. The top five purchased items were:

  1. Three chickens (31,006 transactions)
  2. 100 polio vaccines (15,132 transactions)
  3. Take-home meals for a child (12,623 transactions)
  4. One sheep (10,187 transactions)
  5. Box of fresh produce (9,730 transactions)

The annual #LightTheWorld holiday initiative by the nonprofit Latter-day Saint Charities is “an invitation to all to make the most of the Christmas season by giving, one person at a time — in homes, in communities, and around the globe.”


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