Giving Machines accepting donations in Gilbert through Jan. 3

Light the World Giving Machines
This is the third year Gilbert has hosted "Light the World Giving Machines" in the Water Tower Plaza. (Tom Blodgett/Community Impact Newspaper)

This is the third year Gilbert has hosted "Light the World Giving Machines" in the Water Tower Plaza. (Tom Blodgett/Community Impact Newspaper)

The “Light the World Giving Machines” have returned to Gilbert this winter after a year’s hiatus, and residents still have time to make donations.

The vending-like machines, in which people can “purchase” donations supporting more than 40 charities, will remain up under the Gilbert Water Tower until the evening of Jan. 3.

Steve Lowder, who with his wife, Fran, is in charge of the machines for the Church of Jesus Christ Latter-day Saints, said the machines are on a pace to receive about $1 million this year. That total is about $100,000 less than in 2019, but Lowder said it is a good total coming after the year’s hiatus as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The machines first came to Gilbert in 2018 and raised about $800,000 that year, Lowder said.

“It’s not just about the money collected or the charities, which we love,” he said. “It’s about giving people an opportunity to give—and give as Christ gave.”


The machines are now in 10 cities, including Gilbert. The others are Aiea, Hawaii; Salt Lake City; Las Vegas; New York; Denver; Orem, Utah; Kansas City, Missouri; Nashville; and Oakland, California.
By Tom Blodgett

Editor, Gilbert

Raised in Arizona, Tom Blodgett has spent more than 30 years in journalism in Arizona and joined Community Impact Newspaper in July 2018 to launch the Gilbert edition. He is a graduate of Arizona State University, where he served as an instructional professional in the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication from 2005-19 and remains editorial adviser to The State Press, the university's independent student media outlet.