Church World Service Celebrates the Launch of Light the World Giving Machines

Christopher Plummer | December 3, 2019

New York City — Today, at a ribbon-cutting ceremony in New York City, Church World Service joined with international and local charitable partners to launch this year’s Light the World Giving Machines campaign. The event, which coincided with Giving Tuesday, marked the beginning of a campaign encouraging communities to visit vending machines around the world and buy gifts that will provide support to the world’s needy. Giving Machines offer the chance to feed the hungry, cure the sick, and support the impoverished in sustainable ways.

“The season of giving goes beyond sharing how much we care about our immediate family, it means reaching out to our global one. But touching the hearts of those we don’t know, the ones who are in need, can seem like such a big idea that it’s hard to know where to start: That’s where Giving Machines bridge the gap,” said Rev. John L. McCullough, President and CEO of Church World Service. “Whether it’s providing a family with the needs to start a crop of sweet potatoes in Kenya, or hens and a rooster for a mother in Myanmar to begin a business, the simple act of slipping money into a vending machine can lift up the underprivileged in a meaningful and sustainable way.”  

Church World Service was joined today by two international and three local partners: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of NY, Art Start, West Side Campaign Against Hunger, and UNICEF USA. Light the World Giving Machines are sponsored by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which is covering machine costs, administrative fees and donation overhead.

Thirty gift options, including books, meals, personal care items, fresh food, clean water – even lambs and piglets – are represented by cards in bright red vending machines. Visitors pay by credit card or mobile pay, then make their choice – just as they would at a regular vending machine. The difference is that the money paid goes to the charity so they can deliver the item to the person in need. Prices start at $3.50 and top out at $300. This year giving machines are located in Las Vegas, Oahu, Salt Lake City, Orem (Utah), Denver, San Jose, and New York City in the United States, and internationally in Manila, Philippines, and London, England.

The full list of Giving Machines supporting CWS can be found at

For more information or to speak with McCullough, contact Christopher Plummer at