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Giving Machines for charities open in downtown Denver for another year of giving

Shoppers can donate to several non-profits using the vending machines outside of Larimer Square.
Giving Machines
Posted at 5:32 PM, Nov 30, 2022

DENVER — The holiday shopping season is finally here and right outside of Larimer Square, you'll find a row of red vending machines.

"Rather than getting something at these machines, you're able to give back to those of the least among us, those the most in need," said Craig McIlroy of the Giving Machine Organizing Committee.

Inside the 'Giving Machines,' you won't find snacks, instead, there are different ways to support local and international charities.

"You can give a produce box or give agricultural training, Metro Caring has foodstuff for people in need, we all know Habitat for Humanity, Doctors Care helps disadvantaged youth get healthcare," said McIlroy.

Other nonprofits accepting donations at the machines include: A Precious Child, Village Exchange Center, iDE Global, Mentors International and Water for People.

Each donation is represented on a physical card that drops down when you make your purchase, just like a traditional vending machine.

"My grandkids are very excited to come here. They push the button and give, they're very excited," said Marlene Nissen, who stopped by the machine with her family while on vacation in Denver.

The idea is to make giving back a little more accessible and fun.

"It's so easy to just use a debit or credit card, you're not paying cash. It takes just minutes to do," said Denise Stellers, who brought a friend to the machine to donate to a good cause.

Last year, the machines raised more than $575,000 for local charities. This year, the machines feature 30 different items ranging in price from $5-$250. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and other community sponsors cover the overhead expenses for the machines so every dollar of the donations goes directly to the charities.

"I have a six year old. So we're doing everything we can to try to kick off the holidays but also keep the true meaning of Christmas giving and sharing with those especially in need," said Jason Fletcher, who visited the machines over the weekend.

The machines will stay at the corner of 15th and Larimer until January 1, 2023.