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Vending machines raise more than $667,000 for local, global charities

The 'Light the World' giving machines were set up along the 16th Street Mall in Denver over the holiday season.

DENVER — The charity vending machines that popped up in downtown Denver over the holiday season collected more than $667,000 in donations for local and global charities. 

The “Light the World” giving machines were set up along the 16th Street Mall between Lawrence and Larimer streets in Denver for the first time this year. The same machines were also set up in 10 other cities. 

RELATED: Vending machines for charity set up along 16th Street Mall

Those who wanted to donate could choose from six charities, select the items they wanted to donate, put their card in, and 100% of the money went toward that cause. 

There were a total of 30 items available ranging in price from less than $5 to $300. 

The top donated items for each charity were:

  • Three chickens via CWS Global ($18) – 3,513 donated
  • Two meals for a women’s shelter via Catholic Charities of Denver ($3.50) - 3,314 donated
  • Transit passes via the Rose Andom Center ($3) – 2,469 donated
  • One meal for a family via Mile High Ministries ($10) – 2,310 donated
  • Box of hand soap via Water for People ($3) – 1,179 donated
  • Starter library bookshelf with ten books via Black Child Development Institute Denver ($20) – 907 donated

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The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints covers the costs of the machines and credit card fees plus the charities’ overhead. They started the program in 2017 in Salt Lake City.

The machines were in operation from Nov. 26 through Jan. 1 this year.

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