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Mormon church’s ‘giving machines’ in Gilbert raise over $800K

PHOENIX — Charity vending machines placed in Gilbert by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints over the holiday season raised more than $800,000.

The #LightTheWorld Giving Machines in the Water Tower Plaza near Page Avenue and Gilbert Road allowed anyone to make charitable donations for items such as diapers, turkeys or toys.

Users could walk up to the machines, pick an item they would like to donate and “purchase” the item.

Over the course of 33 days, $862,120 was raised from 34,843 transactions at the Gilbert machines.

The donations will benefit global and local nonprofit organizations, including four in Arizona: A New Leaf, Helen’s Hope Chest, St. Mary’s Food Bank Alliance and United Food Bank.

The church plans to give Gilbert an art piece to commemorate the campaign.

The machines were also available in Utah, New York, the Philippines and London.

Worldwide, more than 92,000 people donated over $2.3 million.

Last year’s sole giving machine in Salt Lake City raised more than $550,000 for local and global charities.

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