Jon Johnson Photo/Gila Herald: A customer makes her selection at the Giving Machines located at Safford City Hall. The mobile machines will be in place until Dec. 16.
By Jon Johnson
SAFFORD — Tis the season of giving and what could be nobler than to donate necessities to those in need?
The Light the World Giving Machines mobile units are in Safford through Dec. 16 and are located in front of Safford City Hall at the intersection of Main Street and 8th Avenue. The machines will move to Tucson from Dec. 17 – Jan. 1. They were previously located in Flagstaff from Nov. 17 – Dec. 1, and are the first mobile units in the state.
The Giving Machines are part of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’ “Light the World” initiative, making it easy to donate to a charity through “reverse” vending machines. They can be found in 28 cities this year.
As part of the annual Light the World initiative, visitors to the Safford location can provide an instant act of service by donating at the special vending machines. With a simple swipe of a credit card, individuals can purchase items for people in need, whether around the corner or across the world. The Gila Valley Giving Machines feature items from local charities like Our Neighbors farm and Pantry, Mt. Graham Safe House, Peace Through Music, Special Olympics, and a few global nonprofit organizations.
The mobile machines opening in Safford included a ribbon cutting Saturday at 5 p.m. Due to the rain, the remainder of the ceremony was moved from the Safford City Hall lawn to the Safford City-Graham County Library.
“It may have been a dark and soggy beginning, but there was definitely light and warmth radiating in the conference room of the library,” said attendee Darlene Griffin.
Since 2017, the Light the World Giving Machines has had more than $15 million in donations. The initiative is funded by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints with 100 percent of every donation being received by the charity of choice.
The Giving Machines are open daily from 9 a.m. – 9 p.m., and will close early at 5 p.m. on Dec. 16. Those unable to visit a machine in person can still participate by making an online donation at LightTheWorld.org/give.