Special vending machines allow people to give to local, global charities

Giving Machine
Posted at 8:54 PM, Dec 13, 2022
and last updated 2022-12-13 22:08:00-05

FRANKLIN, Tenn. (WTVF) — It's one of the things that makes the holiday season so special — people giving to others. Now, one tradition is back in an eye-catching, unconventional way of giving.

At CoolSprings Galleria, it's the shopping rush. The big one. In the middle of it was civil engineer Claire Sichko, rehearsing her pitch to the people walking by.

"Water isn't a given," she said. "Water isn't something you can just get in some places. I know when I open up that faucet, I'm going to have that clean water for me. Water is essential to all life, and everybody needs clean water to survive."

Sichko was serving as a volunteer for the Water For People national non-profit on Tuesday. In the middle of everyone getting those last gifts, what Sichko was talking about was far from many people's minds. What helped was something that catches attention.

She spoke to people next to the Light the World Giving Machines, an effort through the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. It's the same general idea as your average vending machine. With the Giving Machines, you pay and give through a local or national charity. You can get things like food for a family, a week's worth of diapers for a child, or hand and toe warmers. You could also give to Sichko's effort with something like safe water for a year for someone.

"[Water For People] helps people in nine different countries to get water services, sanitation services, and hygiene education," said Sichko.

You can find a Giving Machine in 26 different cities across the world.

LeeAndra Lowe with The Giving Machines said there are a lot of options depending on what you can give.

"Items range from four dollars on up, depending on the item you choose," she said. "There are no credit card fees. It's just all taken care of. It's a gift to the community to take care of the resources for these charities."

The Giving Machines will remain at CoolSprings Galleria through Jan. 1. For more on the Giving Machines, visit here.

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