Innovative “Giving Machine” provides support to local nonprofits


A few steps from where children are lining up to see Santa in Westroads Mall, shoppers can make the holidays brighter for local charities with a simple swipe.

Omaha residents were given a first look at the “Giving Machine” at an unwrapping event on Tuesday. This innovative vending machine allows people to purchase food, clothing, baby supplies, medicine and other items on area nonprofits’ wish lists.

Archbishop George J. Lucas, Nebraska First Lady Suzanne Pillen and Elder Rodney Ames of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints were among those who gathered to celebrate Omaha’s collective spirit of charity.

Catholic Charities of Omaha is one of eight local charities donors can support at the Giving Machine. They are joined by Sienna Francis House, Foster Care Closet of Nebraska, the American Red Cross and others.

Donors can contribute from $3 to $250 at the Giving Machine, with 100% of their donations going directly to their charity of choice. Contributions can also be made at

The Giving Machine will remain just north of the mall entrance to Von Maur until Nov. 28.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints sponsors the annual #LightTheWorld campaign. More than $22 million has been raised for over 240 nonprofit organizations across the globe since its inception in 2017.

“This innovative effort is a wonderful way to highlight the important work that all of these charities represented here do in our community,” Archbishop Lucas said. “As people prepare for Christmas and see the hustle and bustle of all the shoppers, it’s good to have the Giving Machines right here in the center of the mall as a reminder of those who are less fortunate to give us an easy opportunity to be of assistance to them.”

The archbishop encouraged everyone who passes through the mall in the next week to not only visit and make a donation through the machines but also to consider volunteering and directly serving those in need.

“We know that God will never be outdone in generosity, so whatever you are able to give, God will be able to multiply,” he said.

Archbishop George J. Lucas makes the first donation at the Giving Machine after the machines were unveiled at Westroads Mall Nov. 21, 2023.

Giving Machine donations fund tangible items to support the participating charities. Items available for donations to Catholic Charities include games and crafts for the Seniors program, groceries for the food pantry, a night of safety in the Domestic Violence Shelter, and a therapy session for a child with mental health struggles.

Story Courtesy of The Catholic Voice:

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