Holiday Vending Machines In Salt Lake City Encourage Giving

Dec 11, 2017

Lisa Thomas and three of her five sons at the donation vending machines in Salt Lake City.
Credit Thomas Family

During December visitors to Temple Square can purchase items from vending machines that will then be donated to various state, national and global charities. Items range from food, to glasses, to goats.

The vending machines are part of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Christmas service initiative “Light the World.”

Steven King is the manager of media production for the missionary department of the LDS Church.

“There’s just something that happens almost euphorically, if you will, with people as they provide a service or give a gift to someone, especially if that gift is really appreciated on the other end,” King said. “And we know that there are so many different needs in the world. We’re trying to provide just a small vehicle and easier way for people to that.”

Lisa Thomas is from Logan and visited the vending machines with her family.

“We did really want our kids to see it because sometimes if we have them give money or do things like that, they don’t really get to see,” Thomas said. “And this was really fun because it was a visual.”

Lines at the donation machines were long, so instead the Thomas family took service ideas from a free machine offering suggestions on different ways to serve this holiday season.

Thomas said they hope to visit again and make a donation. She also said a benefit of the vending machines is children can get more involved in making the donations.

“You know, if you buy a pair of eyeglasses, they fall down and you get to see them pile up into the vending machine, or a pair of socks, or a blanket,” Thomas said.

The vending machines are located in the Joseph Smith Memorial Building. Items can be purchased through New Year’s.