'Giving Machine' encourages Gilbert residents to give back

GILBERT, Ariz. (KSAZ) - It's not your ordinary vending machine.

There's no candy bars or chips, instead, there's the opportunity to donate to a handful of charities.

Today, the Town of Gilbert and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints unveiled the "Gift Machine" in downtown Gilbert.

As part of the "Light the World" campaign, the church hopes having the "Giving Machine" in Gilbert encourages the community to turn the 25 days of Christmas into a season of service.

"We all feel the joy that we feel inside when we give, even if we have little, we can all give and this is a great opportunity to do that," Sister Reyna Aburto said.

What's inside the special vending machine is a variety of options for families in need, including things as simple as a toy for a child, to a meal for a family of five.

"Ranging from $2 and higher, these kids couldn't even do the extra chores and make the money themselves so that they can go and buy those pair of socks, so they can buy those chickens or the food for that family in need," Kristyn Merkley said. "So we think that serving will really invite the true spirit of Christmas!"

"Service makes your heart full of joy and it's giving others who need stuff that they need to live," Gavin Merkley said.