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Frequently Asked Questions

What is Light The World?

Light the World is the annual Christmas initiative sponsored by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Its purpose is to invite all people to celebrate the birth and life of Jesus Christ and follow in His footsteps by serving others.

What is a Giving Machine?

Light the World Giving Machines are in high-traffic areas of select cities worldwide. Each machine includes cards representing items requested by participating nonprofit organizations. Donors review the items and select those they wish to purchase. After payment is complete, the cards drop into a sealed collection bin. Every transaction is tracked and a summary report, along with a check, is provided to the nonprofit organization after the machines are put away.


Giving Machine items can include groceries and meals, clean and sustainable water, shelter, clothing, blankets and beds, educational assistance, healthcare services, immunizations, hygiene kits, job training, and even livestock. The variety of items and prices make it possible for any one of any age to give.

How are the donations used?

Participating organizations receive 100% of the collected funds and an itemized list of donor purchases. These organizations then acquire and deliver the goods and services to those in need. In some instances, substitutions for purchased items may be necessary to meet more significant demands; however, substituted items must remain within the same category as the original purchase.

When can I visit the Giving Machines in DC?

The Giving Machines in Washington, D.C. are a seasonal experience that runs during Christmastime as part of #LightTheWorld. They’ll be open all day, every day from December 1 through January 2.  

What are the payment options?

Light the World Giving Machines only accept credit/debit
cards and mobile payment services (Apple Pay, Google Pay, etc.).

What items or charities require the most donations?

Every participating nonprofit organization has pressing needs. We encourage individuals and families to learn about each participating charity and support those that resonate. Information about this year’s participants is found at

How much has been raised through this annual initiative?

Since the first Light the World Giving Machine launched in 2017, tens of thousands of donors have contributed $US15 million to serve and care for millions of people in need.

How else can I get involved in #LightTheWorld?

The Giving Machines are just one way to #LightTheWorld. And you don’t have to spend money to help others one by one like Jesus did. Click here for more ideas to do good and serve others this Christmas.

For more information about the Light the World initiative, visit

For more information about Giving Machines, visit

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