Mayor Hancock, Shawn DeBerry Johnson, Elder Thomas T. Priday, and project lead Craig McIlroy present charity recipients from 2019 Giving Machines with checks.

The excitement of the holiday Giving Machines continued Thursday as five local charities gathered in Denver Mayor Hancock’s office. Those in attendance were all smiles – with good reason. In Denver’s inaugural year the Giving Machines surpassed all expectations. Denver area helped raise more than $750K for charitable organizations – and Thursday was the payday. If there was one theme word of the day, it was huge. The checks were huge, the payments were huge, and, best of all – the impact for those in need is huge.

Two volunteers from Catholic Charities pose with NBA Super Mascot Rocky

Catholic Charities’ Director of Communications and Marketing, Cheryl Talley, reported how excited they were to be part of the Giving Machines. Citing the 3,000 meals that were donated to the women they serve, “this is more than a meal. This provides more than nourishment. It provides hope, and a pathway. This is a huge, huge improvement for the lives of women here in Denver.” Other gift options available through the machines means hundred of families Catholic Charities serve will receive 10 days’ worth of groceries, a years worth of diapers, and thousands more blankets will be provided. They can even provide many with a mattresses and bedding. Their total donation received was $89,126.

A sample social media teaser for BCDI shows how easy it is to give a huge gift.

Black Child Development Institute- Denver, received more than 2,000 donations, making their total gift $68,398. That translates into thousands of books for children, hundreds of STEAM kits, fresh produce for thousands of children, and many, many children who can now attend early literacy boot camps. Cassandra Johnson, Denver Affiliate President, shared appreciation for their most popular gift- a 20-book at home “starter library,” which means “children will have increased literacy skills” and put on the path to better educational opportunities.

Linda Loflin-Pettit, Chair of the Board of Directors for The Rose Andom Center illustrated the huge impact their gift makes. Both research and anecdotal experience show that women facing domestic violence have large transportation obstacles to overcome, both in fleeing abuse and in traveling to centers of support. Thanks to the 2,500 bus passes given at the machines, Loflin-Pettit is convinced that lives will be saved. The Rose Andom Center, Denver’s first one-stop center for survivors of domestic violence received $56,479. Other gifts given included hundreds of personal care items and toys for children’s waiting rooms, well-woman exams, and counseling and legal advocacy for abuse victims.

A child smiles in front of the Giving Machines. Donations options for Mile High Ministries and the Rose Andom Center show behind him.

Mile High Ministries received $60,448. Their services can now provide thousands more meals, hundreds of hours of tutoring and adult education classes, and months of nights of safe shelter for families who need support. What did they have to say about this support? “We are enormously grateful,” reports Jeff Johnsen, Executive Director.

Though six charities were recipients of the Giving Machines, there may have been one or two whose items for sale were most talked about. After all, how often do you get to buy a piglet from a vending machine? Church World Services, one of the two global charities, was definitely a draw with its unique options like chicken and sheep. Over 3,500 visitors chose to buy chickens. Yet, all benefitted from the machines’ universal appeal. In their 6 weeks at Writer Square, the Denver Giving Machines saw more than 9,000 transactions from its visitors, donating more than 25,000 items.

The Jaussi family stops to Light the World through a gift at the Giving Machines.

Denver-based Water for People, the other global charity, had unique attractions of their own. Their top seller, the tiger-worm toilet, was donated 1,169 times. Chad Arthur, Chief Development Officer of Water for People, explained that tiger worms help prevent the spread of disease through the latrine system. “This will make a huge impact.” Other gift options means 500 wells and 900+ hand pumps will be given from this year’s donations, not to mention the very thing we take for granted – hand soap. Water for People received more than $200,146 from Denver’s giving.

Operating costs and credit card fees for the Giving Machines were covered by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The Church also covers a portion of administrative fees. Thursdays’ checks included the total donation from Denver Metro residents, and funds from The Church of Jesus Christ.

A donor buys a tiger-worm toilet for Water for People through the Giving Machines.

Though forecast to have modest success, Denver Area made its own way with the theme of “huge” and raised $753,069. Such success is sure to grow. Denver is set to host the Giving Machines in 2020, and we’ll see just how much bigger the impact can get. Look for their return to Writer Square from November 23, 2020 – January 4, 2021.

The Light the World campaign is an annual Christmas campaign designed to share love and service to everyone around.


You have probably heard by now that this year Denver will be a host city for the much sought after “Giving Machines.”

Some of the items available in a Giving Machine in 2018

What follows is a summary of the core information about the Giving Machines in Denver this year.

Where Are The Machines Located?

3 Machines will be installed in a single location in Downtown Denver. They will be hosted at Writer Square on the 16th St Mall. The address is 1504 Larimer Street. Click here for more information about the location, parking, and public transportation.

When Can I Visit The Machines?

The machines will be officially opened at 11 am on Nov 26th and will then be available daily from 9 am to 11 pm through January 1st.

How Do The Machines Work?

The machines are set up just like a vending machine. Foam cards are in the vending machine racks that represent the individual items available to donate.

When you make a donation at the machine one of the cards representing the item(s) you donated will fall down into a collection area.

The actual donations are counted electronically and the individual charities receive the donation checks from The Church of Jesus Christ after the new year.

What Can I Donate At The Machines?

At the machines, six different charities are represented and each has five items available that you can donate. The six charities include 4 local organizations and two global ones.

Charities:

  • Black Child Development Institute
  • Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Denver
  • Rose Andom Center
  • Mile High Ministries
  • Water for People
  • CWS Global

Click here to learn more about each organization.

Items available for donation range in cost from $3 to $300 and any single transaction is limited to $1500.

Click here to see the full detailed list of every item available for donation.

How Much Of My Donation Will The Charity Receive?

100% of your donation will go toward the thing you donated. For an example of you donate a pig, which is a $100 donation here is what happens with those funds:

You pay $100. Credit card merchants charge a transaction fee that varies between 2 and 5% so for example if the fee were 5% then $95 would be received into the LDS Charities fund.

The church covers that transaction fee and provides $100 to the designated charity.

If that charity has administrative fees or costs necessary in order to get the piglet to the end consumer those will also be covered by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints up to 10% (and the charities do not have administrative costs in excess of 10%). So the Church would cut a check to the charity for $110 and $100 of that $110 will purchase piglets.

The long story short is that your exact dollar donation amount will go toward the thing you donated.

What Forms Of Payment Are Accepted?

All major credit cards are accepted. You cannot donate using cash or check.

Can I Donate Without Visiting The Machines?

Each of the charities represented accepts donations directly. If you are unable to visit the machines in person we encourage you to contact one or more of these charities directly to make a donation.

There is no way to donate via the machines without visiting the machines

How Can I Prepare For My Visit To The Machines?

If possible visit the machines during the day. During evening hours and weekends, lines are expected and wait times will be longer.

Visit this website and plan out your donation in detail to limit how long it will take you to make your actual donation at the machines. Given the anticipated wait lines, making your donation plans in advance will help limit how long others will have to wait in line.

Plan to snap a few pictures and share your experience with your friends and networks on social media and via other electronic communication!

How Can I Volunteer And Help With The Machines?

Volunteers from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints have already been assigned to man the machines and help visitors make their donations.

If you are interested in bringing a large group, providing music for those visiting the machines, handing out materials, or otherwise contributing to the effort please contact your Stake’s Public Affairs Director or fill out the contact form at the bottom of this webpage.

The biggest and most significant way to support the Giving Machines effort is to invite a friend or neighbor to visit the machines with you and make a donation. Then share your experience with others.

Lastly, remember the giving machines are a small part of the larger #LightTheWorld campaign of the Church, encouraging all people worldwide to serve others the way Jesus Christ did.

Visit lighttheworld.org and learn more about how you can spread the light of Christ this holiday season!


On Saturday, May 4, members of The Church of Jesus Christ joined with Catholic friends to lay sod, and to perform other landscaping work, at various gravesites throughout Fort Logan National Cemetery.

Approximately 80 volunteers worked over several hours to beautify gravesites for the several hundred individuals who were buried at the cemetery in recent months.

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Dropping off the donations at Samaritan House

This fall, as John Fielding Toronto was preparing to plan and organize an Eagle Scout project, his father suggested that he contact Mark Hahn, who is over Volunteer and Parish Relations at Catholic Charities, for service project ideas.  Mark was a great help to John Fielding, putting him in touch with Denver’s Samaritan House, a Catholic Charities shelter for homeless members of the Denver community.  Mark also volunteered that Arvada’s St. Joan of Arc Catholic church might also be interested in announcing and supporting the project.

Inspired by these contacts, and leveraging relationships of his own, John Fielding immediately set to work organizing a project to collect travel-sized personal hygiene and other related items to be donated to the Samaritan House.  In particular, John coordinated announcements at Arvada’s St. Joan of Arc parish as well as in his own home congregation (the Arvada First Ward) of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, in addition to using the “Nextdoor” neighborhood social media platform and making door to door contacts throughout his own neighborhood.

Following weeks of announcements, distribution of flyers and posters, and ultimately coordination of an extensive collection process, John Fielding and a number of fellow scouts, friends and family members gathered and organized products donated for the project.

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Colorado Gives

 

For all who have volunteered time, talent or energy to others in need, it’s easy to understand the feeling of wanting to do more. You might wish for deeper pockets or unlimited resources to make your giving more significant. Today is the day where a bit of that wish comes true. December 4 is Colorado Gives Day, which means that as each of us goes online to give, our donations have potential to be magnified by the $1 Million Incentive Fund. You can help through ColoradoGives.org, a year-round, online giving website featuring more than 2,300 nonprofits. Last year brought in $36 million in a 24-hour period.

Wondering where to start? Below are a few JustServe partners who stand in extra need and would benefit from a boost on this day of giving.

 

 

Volunteers of America

The Volunteers of America provides a variety of year-round support to those in need. Areas that need the most right now include serving meals at a daytime shelter and helping with yard clean up for senior citizens. They also have several volunteer from home ideas that include writing letters to veterans, decorating bags for meals on wheels, or even putting together a craft kit for low income preschool students.

Catholic Charities

In like manner, Catholic Charities offer a variety of services and can use volunteers to help pull together. Current opportunities include helping at a women’s shelter, either serving dinner, decorating cookies, or hosting a movie night. You can also host a Christmas party for residents of Catholic Charities housing, or adopt a family for Christmas.

 

Lutheran Family Services

Lutheran Family Services (LFS) is the largest refugee resettlement agency in the Rocky Mountain region. Every year LFS responds to needs of 30,000 people. One simple but constant need is for diaper donations. Clients often have large families and always need diapers. You can also help with creating baby baskets for refugee families who are either expecting or have just had a new baby.

In this season of giving, and as we Light the World, we hope you will consider joining in this day as Colorado Gives.