DENVER — Giving to charity is now as easy as getting a candy bar from a vending machine in downtown Denver.
The Giving Machine in Larimer Square allows donors to pick from a variety of gifts that can go to four local or two global charities. Some of the available items: a blanket or two meals at a local women’s shelter, or a pig, goat or water well for impoverished communities overseas.
“This is a cool way to come one-stop-shop,” donor Julie Zawalski said. “It’s very genius, very millennial and I like it.”
The Giving Machine is open from 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. through New Year's Day. It's located at 16th & Lawrence Streets.
Since Nov. 26, people have donated around $200,000 at the Denver giving machines.
There are 10 worldwide. Together, donors have raised almost $2.4 million in a matter of weeks.
“It’s really easy, and I love that the church covers the credit card fees,” donor Valerie Johnson said. “One-hundred percent goes to the church charities, which is incredible."
Charities represented are:
- Black Child Development Institute Denver - focusing on education, health and literacy
- Catholic Charities of Denver - providing valuable family support services
- Mile High Ministries - serving families transitioning out of homelessness
- Rose Andom Center - empowering domestic violence victims to live free from abuse
- Water for People - supplying safe water and sanitation for 4 million people in 9 countries
- CWS Global - feeding the hungry and assisting the vulnerable around the world
Visitors pay by credit card or mobile pay, then make their choice - just like a regular vending machine. But instead of “getting,” their money goes to buy that item for a person or family in need.
Prices start at $3.50 and top out at $300. A complete list of available items can be found at this link.
Light the World Giving Machines are sponsored by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which is covering machine costs, administrative fees and donation overhead.