The Giving Machine is Now Open at CoolSprings Galleria

Giving Machine
photo by Donna Vissman

Christmas shoppers at CoolSprings Galleria now have an opportunity to embrace the joy of giving while making the season a little brighter for people who are struggling to meet their most basic needs.

From three #LightTheWorld Giving Machines, visitors can purchase and donate items ranging from clothing, food and hygiene supplies to therapy equipment and educational opportunities. The Giving Machine is located on the lower level of the mall outside of Belk men’s store.

Among eight local and global beneficiaries are:

Graceworks Ministries serves thousands of low-income neighbors with the fulfillment of basic life needs and wraparound care.

African Girls Hope Foundation exists to provide school-aged girls in Sub-Saharan Africa with a quality formal education.

Mentors International helps families thrive year-round in some of the world’s poorest communities by transforming generational poverty into sustainable self-reliance through individual mentoring, business training, vocational classes, and micro-lending.

Water For People works across nine countries in Latin America, Asia, and Africa to address the global water crisis and equip communities with lasting access to clean water and sanitation services.

Angel Heart Farm provides equine therapy for families with children diagnosed with chronic and life-threatening illnesses.

Achilles International provides opportunities for blind people to live fuller lives through competitive running.

Catholic Charities and Tennessee Resettlement Aid, currently serving hundreds of Afghan and Ukrainian refugees who fled with nothing.

Each charity selected five items for the machines that are most needed by those they serve. Gifts like books, meals, personal care items, fresh food, school supplies—even ducks—are represented by cards in bright red vending machines. Visitors pay by credit card or mobile pay, then make their choice, just like a regular vending machine. Instead of “getting,” visitors “give” as they select and buy items from the machines. Prices start at $5 and top out at $150.

The #LightTheWorld Giving Machines were launched in Salt Lake City by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which covers the cost of the machines and associated fees. As a result, charities receive 100 percent of donations made through the machines. Nashville is one of 26 cities worldwide to be selected to receive Giving Machines.

Carla Parker, the co-chair of the Giving Machines Nashville campaign, says it’s a fun and meaningful way to perform an instant act of service and feel the sense of joy that giving brings to us all.

“In a time when so much is about ‘getting,’ it’s rewarding to be a part of a collaborative effort that promotes the importance of serving and caring for others,” Parker says. “Each person who participates with the Giving Machines gives a loving and selfless gift.”