There is a vending machine in Downtown Summerlin that is called the Giving Machine. When you use the machine it does not give you candy, it lets donors contribute to local nonprofits and international giving campaigns. Dan Reynolds front man for Imagine Dragon was this year’s first donor.
He said his family values the importance of charity and selflessness. As a teen, Reynolds, worked with one of the benefiting nonprofits, Opportunity Village, for his Eagle Scout project.
Reynolds said, “This is for our kids. This is to show them what life is about,” during a Wednesday kickoff event for the Giving Machine. “It’s to teach them a quick lesson that it’s not about TikTok. It’s not about likes on Instagram. Your self-love, your self-worth, your joy in life will come from giving to others.”
The giving machine is sponsored by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and it allows individuals to purchase items ranging from $3 to $300. But instead of dispensing the selections — clothing and dental hygiene items, meals or school supplies — the contribution is logged for nonprofit beneficiaries. Donors also can underwrite college admission application or test score fees and job skills training.
This year’s local nonprofit beneficiaries include Communities in Schools of Nevada, Eye Care 4 Kids, Three Square, Future Smiles and Opportunity Village. Global beneficiaries include the United Nations High Commission for Refugees and Church World Service Global.
Giving Machine was launched in the Las Vegas-area in 2019 and raised $823,000 — about $470,000 of which went to local nonprofits, according to the church. The project was on hiatus in 2020. This year, Las Vegas is one of 10 cities with the initiative.
Communities in Schools CEO Tami Hance-Lehr said the organization received about $90,000 from the machine in 2019, which helped it support 53 schools across the valley. The nonprofit works on dropout prevention, and this year’s donation includes a USB port for digital learning access, school uniforms, graduation supplies and underwriting college admission fees.
Hance-Lehr also said about the donations “They go right into our schools and help our students eliminate whatever barrier it is that keeps them from coming to school.”
Jeff Parker, who oversees the Giving Machine project in Las Vegas, said the initiative is successful because people see the big and small ways they can get involved and help those in need.
The Giving Machine will stay in Downtown Summerlin, across from Macy’s, through Jan. 3.
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