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Launch of the Light the World Giving Machines in Utah

Light the World Giving Machines have returned to Utah for the 2022 holiday season. On Tuesday, November 22, 2022, celebrations were held at University Place in Orem, Utah — one of 28 locations around the world — to unveil the bright red vending machines.

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“The holidays are a perfect time for us to recognize the true gift of Jesus Christ to the world and our lives, and the gifts we give to commemorate His birth,” said Elder Evan A. Schmutz, General Authority Seventy and member of the Presidency of the Utah area, who delivered a Christmas message at the Orem event.

The one-of-a-kind machines, sponsored by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, offer the public a fun and memorable opportunity to donate and serve local and international charities during the holiday season.

“It just gives you a good feeling to be able to give something to people. That is why our Savior wants us to be used to help one another. And that’s exactly what we want to do,” said Ann Helms from Orem.

“I bought a warm blanket,” said Emma Ashcraft, 15, who took her family to buy several items from one of the vending machines, including a backpack and meals for those in need.

“Even if it’s just a blanket, it’s something someone needs. So the easiest thing is to give diapers and/or a blanket or anything that I think is very important to someone who might need it,” added donor Christy Rogers.

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Tuesday night’s Utah County meeting was hosted by regional Church leaders and featured music by Latter-day Saint artists of the Truman Brothers, Utah. Local community and government leaders as well as representatives from charities were present to unpack the machines. Kickoff events were also held earlier in the day at City Creek in downtown Salt Lake City.

“These giving machines give us a great opportunity to come and light the world, give a little, feel a lot and be part of the light where we can do this together,” said Jeanette Bennett, board member of the United Way of Utah County.

Local pantries and other non-profit organizations have recently seen a surge in demand for support.

“This year I can tell you that in the last three months we’ve seen a record number of applications,” said Brent Crane, executive director of Provo’s Food and Care Coalition. “We used to have our regular customers every day and maybe a handful of new applicants. Now, dozens of new applicants apply every day, for everything from housing to mental health to… food.”

“The Giving Machines will help us provide year-round food to the families who need that food,” added Karen McCandless, chief executive officer of Community Action Services and Food Bank in Provo.

“When you’re hungry it’s hard to think, it’s hard to be happy, it’s hard to serve. And so I hope that somewhere it feeds and makes them feel happy and loved,” Bennett said.

This year, nearly 125 local and global nonprofit organizations have joined the Church to serve millions of people in need. One hundred percent of the money raised goes to non-profit organizations including African Girls Hope, American Red Cross, Church World Service, iDE, Lifting Hands International, Mentors International, UNHCR, UNICEF, Water For People and World Food Program USA. Inside each Giving Machine are things like food, clean water, health services, shelter, bedding, hygiene kits, job training, educational supplies, beehives, and livestock.

Since 2017, Giving Machines has raised $15 million for humanitarian organizations in local communities and around the world. The machines will operate until January 1, 2023 to help those in need.

The Church invites people everywhere to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ and follow His teachings to share our light with others. To learn more about the Light the World initiative, Giving Machines, or what you can do to light up the world this holiday season, please visit LighttheWorld.org.

The first Light the World Giving Machines of the 2022 holiday season are now operational in Flagstaff, Gilbert and Glendale, Arizona; Honolulu, Hawaii; Kansas City, Missouri; Las Vegas, Nevada; Houston, Texas; Mexico City, Mexico; and Manila, Philippines. A mobile donation machine will travel through five cities in the southeastern United States this week, beginning with St. Augustine, Florida.

To find a donation machine near you or to donate online, visit LightTheWorld.org/give.

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