Christmas shoppers at CoolSprings Galleria will have an opportunity to embrace the joy of giving while making the season a little brighter for people who are struggling to meet their most basic needs. The Giving Machines will be in place on Monday, November 21 at CoolSprings Galleria and remain through the holiday season.
Local beneficiaries include Catholic Charities and Tennessee Resettlement Aid, currently serving hundreds of Afghan and Ukrainian refugees who fled with nothing; Angel Heart Farm, which provides equine therapy for families with children diagnosed with chronic and life-threatening illnesses; Achilles International, providing opportunities for blind people to live fuller lives through competitive running; and Graceworks Ministries, which serves thousands of low-income neighbors with the fulfillment of basic life needs and wraparound care.
The #LightTheWorld Giving Machines were launched in Salt Lake City by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which covers the cost of the machines and associated fees. As a result, charities receive 100 percent of donations made through the machines. Since 2017, the initiative has raised over $15 million through the donations of more than 1,200,000 people. Nashville is one of 26 cities worldwide to be selected to receive Giving Machines.
Carla Parker, co-chair of the Giving Machines Nashville campaign, says it’s a fun and meaningful way to perform an instant act of service and feel the sense of joy that giving brings to us all.
“In a time when so much is about ‘getting,’ it’s rewarding to be a part of a collaborative effort that promotes the importance of serving and caring for others,” Parker says. “Each person who participates with the Giving Machines gives a loving and selfless gift.”
Each charity selected five items for the machines most needed by those they serve. Gifts like books, meals, personal care items, fresh food, school supplies—even ducks—are represented by cards in bright red vending machines. Visitors pay by credit card or mobile pay, then make their choice, just like a regular vending machine. Instead of “getting,” visitors “give” as they select and buy items from the machines. Prices start at $5 and top out at $150.
For more information about the event schedule or items inside the machines, visit GivingMachinesNashville.org.