In 2019, we watched as children donated their savings to help local kids in need. We also witnessed families lining up patiently to give to people in need in our community. Their generous donations through the Giving Machines in Orem resulted in $230,000 for Community Action Services and Food Bank, which we used to help people in need throughout Utah, Wasatch, and Summit counties.

“It helped so many people in 2019,” says Karen McCandless, Community Action Services and Food Bank CEO. “We had no idea what to expect, and we were grateful for anything. We cried with how many people we were able to help.” 

The machines took a COVID hiatus in 2020, but they’re back and ready to help people in need all over the world! We’re again grateful that we’re included on the shortlist of local charities in the Giving Machines at University Place in Orem. Keep reading to learn how the machines work and the options available for giving this year. 

How Does It Work?

The Giving Machines are like regular vending machines, but with a twist: You make a selection and swipe your card to pay. Instead of getting a soda or candy bar, though, you give directly to a charity and help someone in need. One hundred percent of donations go to the charities; The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints covers all the other expenses, including credit card fees.

This year’s Giving Machines are located around the country and have staggered opening dates. For example, the Orem location at University Place opens for donations on November 24. Here are the other Giving Machine locations:

  • Las Vegas, Nevada, in Downtown Summerlin Mall, November 3
  • Nashville, Tennessee, in the Bridgestone Arena, November 18
  • Honolulu, Hawaii, in Pearlridge Center, November 20
  • Salt Lake City, Utah, in City Creek Center, November 24
  • Oakland, California, at Temple Hill, November 27
  • Gilbert, Arizona, in Water Tower Plaza, November 29
  • Denver, Colorado, at Writer Square, November 30
  • Kansas City, Missouri, in the Crown Center, November 30
  • New York City, New York, at the Manhattan Temple, November 30

What Are the Giving Options?

Every Giving Machine location is affiliated with different local charities as well as global charities like UNICEF and WaterAid. In addition to Community Action Services, the Orem location will include these local causes:

  • United Way of Utah County 
  • The Center for Women and Children in Crisis
  • Family Support and Treatment Center

We’ll have five options available for giving to Community Action Services:

  • Take-home meals for a child: $5
  • Pantry staples for a senior: $15
  • Full holiday meal for a family: $30
  • 100 meals: $50
  • 300 meals: $150

We direct the donation exactly the way donors intended when they made their purchase. We’ll get a list with the donated amount for everything on the giving menu, so we’ll be able to budget precisely for those items.

We’re so happy the Giving Machines are back this year and ready to help people in need here and around the world. So mark your calendar for November 24 to get in line at University Place in Orem, where you’ll be able to make your selection and start giving! If you’d like to give but can’t make it to University Place, you can earmark a donation through our website