Woman and Child with a UNICEF Box

Making an Impact, All Through a Giving Machine

For the second year in a row, and with a bigger impact than ever, UNICEF USA participated in the Light the World Giving Machines, presented by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Using one of the most common and easily understood transactional platforms – the vending machine – these Giving Machines allow a passerby to make donations to both local and global charities, purchasing anything from winter boots and holiday meals for families in need, to polio vaccines, baby resuscitation kits and a School-in-a-Box for children and families around the world.

This year, the Giving Machines were located in ten cities. UNICEF USA was proud to be featured again as one of the global partners; UNICEF Inspired Gifts were available for purchase in five of the 10 cities: Laie, Hawaii; Las Vegas; New York City; Salt Lake City and San Jose.

The Light the World campaign kicked off on November 14 and concluded January 1, 2020, allowing members of the Church, community members and passersby to purchase UNICEF Inspired Gifts and make a lasting impact on children and communities around the world.

The UNICEF Inspired Gifts selected to be in the Giving Machines this year ranged from lifesaving polio vaccines and baby resuscitation kits to items that ensure vulnerable children can learn and play — and just be able to be kids! —including basketballs, a School-in-a-Box kit and menstrual hygiene kits for girls, empowering them to stay in school and keep learning.

Over the course of the Light the World campaign, members of the Church and local communities raised over $708,000 for UNICEF Inspired Gifts.

“The Giving Machines enable community members to ensure children’s survival and well-being, by selecting a gift that is meaningful to them too. This unique initiative is allowing UNICEF to reach more children, while also reaching more people who have the goodwill to make a difference for others around the world.”  – Leslie Goldman, Vice President Global Cause Partnerships, UNICEF USA

Through the outstanding support from communities, UNICEF will be able to procure life-saving materials for children around the world. Over 1.5 million polio vaccines can be purchased and 28,895 basketballs can go to kids to play in schools and in times of emergencies. Over 10,000 children can receive an education in an emergency or conflict zone through a School-in-a-Box. 6,311 resuscitation kits can be procured, immediately providing emergency assistance when a baby needs it most. 18,432 menstrual hygiene kits can be procured providing the protection and peace of mind girls need to stay in school and forge a better future.

Children will now be able to survive and thrive all thanks to our partners Latter-day Saint Charities and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, who invited UNICEF USA to join the Light the World initiative, and the thousands of individuals who stepped up to Giving Machines last year and made a donation for a child.

Below are stories on the impact Inspired Gifts have made on children around the world!

Baby Resuscitation Kits

© UNICEF/UNI261023/Abdul

Kabusinge Madrine, a Midwife at Kawempe Referral Hospital, Uganda, is celebrating while holding newly delivered twin girls, Babirye and Nakato.

Midwife Madrine is passionate about her job, particularly about saving the lives of babies. “There is a procedure called resuscitation. A baby is born and there is no life, and even the mother has lost hope, so bringing the baby back to life is the best part of my job.” Throughout the night, Madrine’s love of midwifery was apparent as she brought her cheerful spirit to the entire labor ward.

Polio Vaccines

© UNICEF/UNI232057/Nybo

UNICEF-supported nurse Jeanne Masika administers a polio vaccine to a child in her mother's arms, as part of a regularly scheduled vaccination event in the village of Kuka, Democratic Republic of the Congo. 

“Today I have vaccinated 80 children,” says Masika. “If children don’t get vaccinated, there are so many diseases they can get. Vaccines protect children.”


© UNICEF/UN0121378/Moreno Gonzalez

A boy bounces a basketball that he received during a UNICEF distribution, in a corridor at the National Technical Training Centre in St. John’s, capital of the island of Antigua.

UNICEF is distributing educational and recreational supplies and supporting sports, creative workshops and other activities for children at the training center – which is now serving as a shelter for 120 people displaced from Barbuda by Hurricane Irma, including 29 children.

School-in-a-Box Kits

© UNICEF/UN0188837/Nybo

A UNICEF team loads relief supplies, including School-in-a-Box kits and recreation kits, onto a truck to be delivered to help children and families who were hardest hit by recent earthquakes in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea.

UNICEF Papua New Guinea is setting up 26 Child-Friendly Spaces (CFS) to provide psychosocial support services for more than 14,000 children in severely affected areas of Hela and Southern Highland provinces. The CFS's are safe places where children can go to regain a sense of normalcy, play and receive an education using materials from School-in-a-Box Kits.

Menstrual Hygiene Kits

© UNICEF/UNI210204/Adriko

A student at Morulem Primary School in Uganda's Abim District demonstrates how reusable sanitary pads are used at a meeting of a school club. The focus for this session was Menstruation Hygiene Management (MHM).

UNICEF aims to improve quality education for girls through providing safe spaces where they feel comfortable learning about menstrual hygiene.


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 Charities 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: Young Syrian refugees are bracing for the winter in camps in the town of Ersal, East Lebanon, near the Syrian border. They receive urgent winter supplies from UNICEF including warm clothing kits to help keep them warm throughout the winter. © UNICEF/UN0264879/al Mussawir - Ramzi Haidar