In 2017, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints attempted to transform the traditional vending machine into a symbol of charitable giving.
Instead of purchasing a candy bar or snack for yourself, these machines featured everything from socks and eyeglasses to goats and chickens. Passersby simply swiped their cards to purchase essential items for those in need. All donations were then collected and given to partnering charities, both local and worldwide.
- 21,830 meals
- 7,866 chickens
- 6,620 eyeglasses
- 1,300 25lb. bags of rice
This year, the Church has decided to broaden their efforts, launching Giving Machines in five major cities worldwide. One of the most exciting cities is New York City, New York, where Giving Machines have been set up in front of the New York City Temple, just across from Lincoln Center.
The Church will cover all administrative costs and costs associated with its nonprofit partners to ensure that 100 percent of each donation goes to each charity. The global charities joining with the Church include:
- Care.org, founded in 1945 and one of the leading humanitarian organizations fighting global poverty.
- Unicef, which works in some of the world’s toughest places to reach the world’s most disadvantaged children.
- Water for People and WaterAid, two organizations dedicated to bringing safe water and sanitation to people in low-income countries.
Each city will also have specific donations for local charities so visitors can give back to their communities. For example, Art Start, a New York City-based non-profit organization that uses the arts to save lives and transform communities, is excited to partner with the Giving Machine project to receive much-needed funds and supplies.
“When the Church approached us about being part of these Giving Machines in New York, we couldn’t wait to get started on the project,” said Mariama Nogera-Devers, the Programs Manager at Art Start. “New York City is a place that values the arts, and we’re elated to make it dramatically easier to support children and families in this community through this groundbreaking Giving Machines approach.”
Just a few of the items that can be purchased for Art Start include a child art supply kit for $25, a costume for youth dance classes for $20, and 1-hour arts workshop for at-risk youth for $25. Each local charity will likewise have specific items in each of the vending machines around the world.
All the vending machines will include global donation options, such as socks, first aid kits, school supplies, school uniforms, food, chickens, goats, cows, and much more.
As each city begins to prepare for the launch of the Giving Machines, volunteers and Latter-day Saint missionaries have worked hard to make sure they are ready to go.
Each Giving Machine is about 10′ wide, 4′ deep, and roughly 8′ high. They operate on a built-in LTE modem, which means they don’t require wifi or connectivity, just a bit of power. It is important to note they do not accept cash, but they do accept all major US credit cards. Donors can request a receipt noting their donation amount for tax purposes.