During the 2021 Christmas season, some 300,000 people throughout the United States visited a Light the World Giving Machine, donating a combined US$5.8 million. The holiday initiative, now in its fifth year, is sponsored by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
The red vending machines, stationed in 10 cities around the country, allow a person to purchase items (such as clothing, meals, clean water and livestock) that will later be distributed to those in need by various charities. Some popular items purchased in 2021 were:
- Essential clothing for nearly 20,000 children
- A polio vaccine for 837,000 children
- Chickens for more than 80,000 families (these animals provide long-term nutrition and income)
- Over 10,000 menstrual care kits to keep girls in school
- More than 1.7 million meals and 14,000 boxes of fresh produce to feed the hungry
Funds are being distributed to 44 charities in the United States and five global agencies.
A reception was held in New York City on Wednesday, March 9, to celebrate donations with the five global organizations: Cooperative for Assistance and Relief Everywhere (CARE USA), Church World Service (CWS Global), the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and WaterAid.