This holiday season, there’s a new way to give to Community Action Services and Food Bank and other local charities. For the first time, as part of the Light the World campaign from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, there will be a Giving Machine at University Place in Orem.

Community Action Services, like many nonprofits, relies on donations during the giving season to get us through the year. According to Nonprofits Source, about 30 percent of all annual charitable contributions are made in December. So that’s one of the reasons why the Light the World Giving Machines are so important, gathering $2.8 million for charities in the last two years. Here’s how it works:

What’s a Giving Machine?

The machines work like a vending machine. But instead of getting a snack or drink, shoppers buy an instant act of service. For example, in this year’s machine at University Place, people will have several options for Community Action Services and Food Bank, including:

  • Take-Home Meals for a Child for $5
  • Box of Fresh Produce for $10
  • Holiday Meal for a Family for $25
  • 100 Meals for $50
  • 250 Meals for $125

The machine also will have options for three other nonprofits in Utah County:

  • Family Support and Treatment Center
  • United Way of Utah County
  • Center for Women and Children in Crisis

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints unveiled its first Giving Machine during the holiday season in 2017. That year, it gathered $550,000 in donations for nonprofits around the world. In 2018, it expanded the effort and collected $2.3 million in donations.

How do I donate via Giving Machine?

First, you’ll choose an item to donate. Then all you need to do to donate is swipe your credit or debit card. The machines don’t take cash.

Why should I bother?

Obviously, nonprofits rely on donations. But the last three months of the year are critical. In some cases, the last three months provide a big percentage of the annual contributions. At Community Action Services and Food Bank, we use your donations to help end poverty in our area. Your donations help us:

  • Feed children and families in need
  • Teach financial literacy
  • Help families buy their first home
  • Give emergency assistance
  • And more

When can I donate?

The Giving Machine will be open for business on Nov. 26. That’s two days before Thanksgiving. 

Year-end donations help nonprofit agencies like Community Action Services and Food Bank meet fundraising goals for the year. This year, with the added help of the Giving Machine at University Place, we hope to blow our goals out of the water.