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‘Giving machines’ are coming back to Gilbert for 2nd year

PHOENIX — Vending machines that let people give back to those in need are returning to a Phoenix suburb for a second consecutive holiday season.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is planting its “giving machines” at the Water Tower Plaza in Gilbert near Page Avenue and Gilbert Road beginning Nov. 20, the church said in a press release.

The machines let users purchase food, clothing, medicine, hygiene supplies, sporting equipment and livestock via credit card for anywhere from $2 to $320.

The donations will benefit global and local nonprofit organizations, including six in Arizona: A New Leaf, Arizona Disabled Sports, Catholic Charities Community Services Arizona, St. Mary’s Food Bank, Child Crisis Arizona and United Food Bank.

Last year, the giving machines raised more than $2.3 million worldwide in their five locations: Gilbert, New York City, Salt Lake City, London and Manila, Philippines.

The machines will be located in those cities plus five more this year: Las Vegas; Oahu, Hawaii; Denver; San Jose, California; and Orem, Utah.

This is the third year for the initiative.

It is part of the church’s #LightTheWorld campaign, which asks people to spend the month leading up to Christmas as an opportunity to give back to those in need.

A live tracker of donations will be available on the church’s website.

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