'Giving Machines' In Gilbert Raise Money For Valley Charities

By Lauren Gilger
Published: Friday, December 13, 2019 - 12:19pm
Updated: Friday, December 13, 2019 - 3:20pm

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People contribute to “Giving Machines” in Gilbert.
Paul Atkinson/KJZZ
People contribute to “Giving Machines” in Gilbert.

Vending machines in downtown Gilbert raised more than $800,000 for local and international charities last year. They’re back for the holiday season.

On a recent night a crowd surrounds the four bright red “Giving Machines” near the base of the Gilbert water tower.

Candace Dial and her son browse their options on the other side of the glass. Instead of snacks, the vending machines display white placards that show a picture, price and description of an item identified as a need for one of six different charities.

Dial directs her son to a picture of books and games at a cost of $5.

“So that’s one you would like to give, but which would do you think daddy would like to give?” “Teddy Bear!” “No, a bicycle!” “A bicycle, isn’t that cool? A bicycle can provide essential transportation when only a car isn’t affordable. So this can go to someone who needs a bike.”

Dial’s mother, Kim Shields, wrangles family members into contributing the $125 it costs to buy the bike for Catholic Charities Community Services.

The Giving Machines are sponsored by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, which is paying for all the processing fees incurred when purchases are made.

The Show sat down with Jennifer Wheeler with the Metro-Phoenix Public Affairs Council of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and Michael Hughes, CEO of A New Leaf, one of the charities benefiting from the local Giving Machines. 

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