16th Street and Larimer in Denver Colorado at night RTD bus MallRide

An RTD MallRide bus on the 16th Street Mall in downtown Denver.

Denver’s experiment with “giving machines” — vending machines in which the purchaser chooses which charity to donate to — raised $625,000, The Denver Channel reports.

“That’s enough to provide full services to a community of 3,000 people forever. So it’s a big deal,” Water for People CEO Eleanor Allen said of the $180,000 donated to her organization.

Water for People, a Denver-based nonprofit, brings water, sanitation and hygiene services to communities worldwide.

The machines were set up on the 16th Street Mall and the final tally of donations will be calculated on Jan. 6.

Light the World, an initiative of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, began sponsoring the machines in 2017. It reports that 2018 donations totaled $2.3 million. Aside from Denver, Las Vegas, San Jose and Orem, Utah were the four new sites this year.

“In 2017, just four machines in Salt Lake City, UT raised over $550,000 for global and local causes,” the organization wrote on its website. “In 2018, the program expanded to New York, London, Manila and Gilbert, AZ, and raised $2.3 million more.”

Denver’s machines included four local charities and two international ones. The giving options included blankets for those experiencing homelessness, meals, groceries and hygiene products.

Editor's note: This article has been updated to clarify that Light the World is an initiative of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

(1) comment

Amy Johnson

The Light the World Giving Machines are actually sponsored by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which also pays credit card fees and overhead for the charities so every dollar donated goes to supply the item selected.

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