Relief Society Leaders Say Thank You for “Light the World” Vending Machine Donations
Contributed By Camille West, LDS.org Church News
- From goats to eyeglass, donations of over $550,000 to charity partners had a tremendous impact on thousands of people.
“The results were more than we ever imagined. The difference that you made is tremendous to every one of these recipients.” —Sister Jean B. Bingham, Relief Society General President
The Relief Society General Presidency has released a video to thank contributors for the charity vending machine donations made on Temple Square during the Light the World campaign this past Christmas season.
Shared August 2 on Sister Jean B. Bingham’s Facebook page, the video features the three members of the Relief Society General Presidency sharing how the donations have blessed others.
“You are truly a light to the world,” Sister Bingham wrote in a Facebook post accompanying the video created by LDS Charities. “Last Christmas we showed you a vending machine the Church put in Salt Lake City where you could buy a gift for someone else in need. From goats to eyeglasses, your donations of over $550,000 had a tremendous impact on thousands of people. We created this short video to give you an update on how others have been blessed by your goodness. Thank you for inspiring us with your generosity.”
The four red charity vending machines Sister Bingham refers to were stocked with items that represented a specific donation and were placed in the Joseph Smith Memorial Building on Temple Square.
Using credit cards, people could buy things like a goat or a chicken, socks, a new pair of school shoes, an eye exam, clean water, baby supplies, first aid kits, medication, and food.
After people selected and paid for their donated item, the machine vended the item into a bin at the bottom. These donations, and the money used to purchase them, were then distributed to charity partners like CARE.org, the Utah Food Bank, Eye Care 4 Kids, WaterAid, and Water for People.
The opportunity offered an instant, easy act of service. And by the end of the holidays, there were 23,000 total donations, Sister Bingham reports in the video. “The results were more than we ever imagined,” she says. “The difference that you made is tremendous to every one of these recipients.”
From those donations, for example:
- The Utah-based organization called Eye Care 4 Kids provided nearly 2,000 children with exams and glasses.
- More than 300 hygiene kits, 7,800 chickens, and 2,400 goats were donated to CARE International. “Goats represent wealth” for a family, said Sister Sharon Eubank, admitting that she herself bought a goat to donate.
- The $79,000 donated to the Utah Food Bank was able to provide 294,000 meals for people in need. “This is very inspiring to know that we can work together to help feed the hungry,” Sister Reyna I. Aburto says.
Preparations are underway to expand the Light the World vending machines to a few U.S. and international locations.
Charity vending machines at the Joseph Smith Memorial Building gave people a convenient opportunity to serve others during December 2017. Photo by R. Scott Lloyd, Deseret News.
One Light the World vending machine offered an opportunity to fight global poverty by purchasing items like medicine, infant supplies, and even a goat or a chicken to donate to the CARE organization. Photo by R. Scott Lloyd, Deseret News.
The Utah Food Bank and Eye Care 4 Kids were among organizations that received donations through vending machines that were part of the Light the World campaign this past Christmas. Photo by R. Scott Lloyd, Deseret News.
One vending machine offered assorted items people could purchase as a donation for the Utah Food Bank to help the needy. Photo by R. Scott Lloyd, Deseret News.