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'Light the World' giving machines open at Salt Lake shopping center


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SALT LAKE CITY — The annual "Light the World" giving machines kicked off at City Creek Center in Salt Lake City Tuesday.

This is the sixth year for the very popular giving machines, which have contributed more than $15 million to critical charities worldwide.

The giving machines offer everyone a chance to make small contributions that make a big difference in the lives of others.

Adassa, the sensational singer and performer from the Disney-hit "Encanto," helped launch the giving campaign. When she sings, a crowd gathers. So who better to prime the giving machines than the woman behind Dolores.

"By sharing our light with the world, we really inspire others to do the same, and there are so many great charities and causes that are here," Adassa said Tuesday after singing with her fans.

She reminded them that we're never too young to help others.

"A little kid, you just hand them over the card, they'll push some buttons and they're like, 'I want the duck, I want this,' and you can be impacting somebody around the world with your donation," she said.

UNICEF USA and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints teamed up for the event, which has already raised more than $1.5 million this year.

"This is a wonderful way to light the world and to share our excess and our goodness with those around us," said Michael Bourne, director of the communications council of Salt Lake, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Anyone, any age can buy critical items for people in Utah and around the world. A $25 donation will buy 100 polio vaccines. A $38 donation will buy 10,000 water purification tablets.

The machines also benefit local partners: American Indian Services, Women of the World, Centro de la Familia, and The Other Side Village. That's a 430-home permanent, self-reliant community to be built for those who have been chronically homeless.

"It's important because there are people on the streets now who need more than just shelter," said Joseph Grenny, co-founder of The Other Side Village. "They need a new way of life. They need mentoring and support, and an opportunity to be part of something important and beautiful."

Since 2017, "Light the World" giving machines in Salt Lake City have generated nearly $4 million. The initiative is fully funded by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, so 100% of every donation goes to the charity of choice.

The giving machines will be up through Jan. 3.

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The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day SaintsUtahSalt Lake CountyReligion
Jed Boal

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