The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is bringing charitable giving back to the streets through Giving Machines, and this time it will be bigger than ever.
This holiday season, the Giving Machines will be located in 10 cities: New York City; Salt Lake City; Gilbert, AZ; San Jose, CA; Las Vegas; Orem, UT; Denver; Laie, HI; London and Manila, Philippines.
This holiday season, Latter-day Saint Charities vending machines in 10 cities will let shoppers purchase UNICEF Inspired Gifts to help the world's children
Using one of the most common and easily understood transactional platforms — the vending machine — the Giving Machines allow a passerby to donate to both local and global organizations, purchasing everything from winter boots and holiday meals for families in need to polio vaccines, baby resuscitation kits and a School-in-a-Box kit for children and families around the world.
UNICEF USA is proud to be featured for the second year in a row as one of the global partners in New York City, Salt Lake City, Las Vegas, San Jose and Laie, where UNICEF Inspired Gifts will be on display in the Giving Machines for "purchase."
The #LightTheWorld initiative kicks off November 14 when the first Giving Machines open in Las Vegas, followed by the rest of the machines the week of Thanksgiving, and will run through January 1. The Giving Machines make it simple for members of the Church, UNICEF supporters and the general public to purchase UNICEF Inspired Gifts that positively impact children and communities around the world.
Giving Machines make it simple for UNICEF supporters to positively impact children and communities around the world
UNICEF Inspired Gifts chosen to be in this year's Giving Machines include lifesaving polio vaccines and baby resuscitation kits, items that ensure vulnerable children can learn and play — and just be kids! — including basketballs and a School-in-a-Box kit, and menstrual hygiene kits that will empower girls and help them stay in school and keep learning.
Below, a look at how UNICEF Inspired Gifts in this year's Giving Machines are making an impact on the world's children.
Afghanistan is one of only three countries in the world where polio remains endemic, together with Pakistan and Nigeria. But there is a growing sense of optimism that polio will become the second human disease, after smallpox, to be eradicated. UNICEF-supported vaccinators go door-to-door to reach every child and continue to work with communities to dispel myths about polio vaccination. UNICEF mobilizes community and religious leaders, teachers and health staff to raise awareness, knowledge and commitment about polio.
Menstrual Hygiene Kits
Many girls do not have a complete and accurate understanding of menstruation as a normal biological process. Educating girls about the facts of menstruation before their first period builds their confidence, contributes to social solidarity and encourages healthy habits. UNICEF is making sure that girls like the young ashram students in Gujarat, India, pictured above, receive menstrual hygiene kits that include reusable pads so they can feel empowered to stay in school.
In addition to providing girls with menstrual hygiene kits, UNICEF is training teachers to instruct their students on menstrual hygiene management and how it can improve young women's health, nutritional status and well-being, as well as increasing school enrollment and retention, potentially conferring long-term health, social and economic benefits on the whole community.
Having a safe place to play is invaluable for children whose lives have been turned upside-down by conflict and displacement. UNICEF and partners provide play equipment, including basketballs, to children and adolescents, giving them a chance to engage in sports and enjoy their right to rest and leisure.
Even in the midst of a crisis, a School-in-a-Box can provide children with the materials they need to continue their educations. Developed in the mid-1990s to supply all the equipment a temporary learning center needs to operate during an emergency period, the School-in-a-Box has long been at the heart of UNICEF's emergency response activities to keep children learning in challenging circumstances.
One UNICEF School-in-a-Box kit contains educational supplies for at least 40 children. Packed into a large portable aluminum case, the materials include a clock, markers and flipchart — even an inflatable globe for geography lessons. The inside lid of the box doubles as a blackboard when coated with the special paint included with the kit. The School-in-a-Box also provides resources for teachers — including materials for children with disabilities — and allows for double-shift classes so that more children can benefit from schooling.
Resuscitation Kits for Babies
In 2014, after non-state armed groups attacked her town of Michika, Nigeria, killing hundreds of civilians, Amilia Mathew fled to Yola, the capital of Nigeria's Adamawa state, where she became a health worker at a UNICEF-supported clinic. Amilia has received several UNICEF trainings, including courses on how to take care of pregnant women and newborns, and how to deliver babies in challenging situations.
More than 600 newborns die every day in Nigeria due to lack of access to quality health care. Simple, practical UNICEF-supported measures such as safe water supplies and sterilizers in health clinics have helped reduce the newborn mortality rate across Adamawa state.
The clinic where Mathew works receives vital supplies from UNICEF and partners, including baby resuscitation kits, midwifery kits, a labor bed and basic drugs critical for saving newborn lives. Her training has helped Mathew deliver more than 1,500 babies safely in the past two years.
Giving Hope to the World's Children
In 2018, the #LightTheWorld initiative raised more than $2.3 million in five cities in just 38 days. Of that, individuals gave over $450,000 through UNICEF Inspired Gifts, making a huge impact for children.
In 2018, the #LightTheWorld initiative raised more than $2.3 million in five cities in just 38 days, including over $450,000 through UNICEF Inspired Gifts
That generous support allowed UNICEF to purchase 370,000 polio vaccines to keep children healthy and 3,564 soccer balls to keep children happy and active in communities all over the world. Thanks to School-in-a-Box kits, more than 9,300 children are continuing their educations in emergencies, and 2,372 resuscitation kits will save countless babies' lives.
This year, UNICEF USA is excited to step up our impact and bring UNICEF Inspired Gifts to more individuals, thanks to our partners Latter-day Saint Charities and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Individuals, families and communities can make an impact on the lives of children and #LightTheWorld this holiday season.
Latter-day Saint Charities is the humanitarian arm of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Its purpose is to relieve suffering, foster self-reliance and provide opportunities for service. Latter-day Saint Charitites sponsors relief and development projects in 189 countries and gives assistance without regard to race, religious affiliation or nationality. Aid is based on the core principles of personal responsibility, community support, self-reliance and sustainability. Largely run with volunteer labor, Latter-Day Saint Charities operates both independently and in cooperation with other charitable organizations and governments.
Latter-day Saint Charities and UNICEF USA have been in partnership since 2013, supporting programs to reach the world's most vulnerable children and families.
Top photo: Abel, 6, loves going to his UNICEF-supported school and playing with his friends in Ethiopia. Children like Abel who are enrolled in at least one year of pre-primary education are more likely to develop the critical skills they need to succeed in school. © UNICEF Ethiopia/2019/Mulugeta Avene