A New Way to Give Back: Charitable Leaders and Partners Celebrate ‘Unwrapping’ of D.C. Region’s First Light the World Giving Machine
With the holiday season underway, the Washington D.C. region becomes newest home to an increasingly popular way to give back: giving-focused vending machines, which have raised more than $15 million for charity in the past five years arrive in the DC-Maryland-Virginia area
KENSINGTON, Md. – With the holiday season in full swing, charitable leaders and partners celebrate as the Washington D.C. region has become the newest home for an increasingly popular feature of charitable giving – the Light the World Giving Machines.
The Church partners with numerous nonprofit organizations, including: World Food Program USA, The American Red Cross, Lutheran Social Services of the National Capital Area (LSSNCA), Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS), Boys and Girls Club of Laurel, and House of Ruth.
At the beginning of the holiday season, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, along with these D.C.-area nonprofit organizations, “unwrapped” the new Giving Machine, which is housed this season at the Washington D.C. Temple Visitors’ Center in Kensington, Maryland.
“Up to 828 million people, more than one in ten, go to bed hungry each and every night,” stated World Food Program USA Senior Director for Institutional Partnerships, Kem Seesink. Kem described World Food Program USA’s critical mission to provide food assistance and build long-term resilience with communities in need. “Everyone who donates an item through the Light the World Giving Machines is also participating in that future.”
“When it comes to donating to The American Red Cross, you know you're going to help save lives,” said spokesperson for The American Red Cross, Ashley Henyan. “It’s hard to make the feeling of giving hope or giving life tangible, but that’s exactly what Giving Machines do because you get to see exactly where your donation is going.”
LSSNCA time and again finds its place always heeding the call when others might see the challenge as too great,” shared Kristyn Peck, CEO, Lutheran Social Services of the National Capital Area. Referencing the Giving Machines and other similar community efforts, she added, “Something that connects all these inspiring organizations is that we accompany people in their greatest time of need. Your help isn’t wasted. It is wanted and helpful. Thank you for playing a pivotal role in helping to create welcoming communities for newcomers.”
For three years, we have provided critical resources and comprehensive compassionate care to anyone who is grieving the loss of someone who served in the military,” explained TAPS Development & Community Engagement Coordinator, Brittany Adams. Brittany is also the Surviving Sibling of Army SGT Christopher M. Adams. “For myself and the thousands of people impacted by death of a military loved one, I hope you will join in honoring the mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, children, battle buddies, spouses, and partners. This is our first time being connected to the Giving Machines, and mission awareness is vital to what we do here and across the country and across the world.”
“The success of the Giving Machines shows that when you do good things, the community responds,” said Darryl Adams of the Boys and Girls Club of Laurel, Maryland. “Investing in our kids and their futures is more important than ever in the post-pandemic era, and the machines provide people with a creative way to show their support.”
“House of Ruth is excited to be a part of the Giving Machines program, where visitors can donate several products that directly benefit our clients,” said Elizabeth Kiker, Chief Development Officer for House of Ruth, which empowers survivors of homelessness and domestic violence to overcome their traumas by providing housing, therapy and childcare. “We’re dedicated to helping our client thrive by giving them the tools they need to build a new life, and we’re grateful for this outpouring of support from our friends and neighbors.”
Click HERE to learn more about the charities.
Click HERE to see more on how Giving Machines work.
The giving-focused vending machines offer a unique and memorable way to give back. Giving Machines include items such as groceries, fresh water, child vaccines, beds, hygiene kits, farming equipment, medical care, job training, educational supplies, beehives and livestock.
“During the holiday season when everyone wants to give back, Giving Machines are not only fulfilling the needs of people who receive the items, but visitors love how personal the experience of choosing a donation is,” said Elder Quentin L. Cook, a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. “It’s a blessing to both those who give and receive”
Since the first Giving Machine appeared in 2017, total contributions have reached $15 million.
More people than ever before can participate in the Giving Machines campaign this year, with 28 locations across the United States. View the full list of locations HERE.
Those unable to visit a physical machine can participate online at LightTheWorld.org/give.