News Release

‘Light the World’ Effort in PH Generates Funds for Charity Partners

Over 7,000 transactions were made in 54 days

The Light the World Christmas initiative of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints ended on a high note. Not only did it encourage people to follow the example of Jesus Christ by caring for individuals all throughout the Christmas season, but also their special red Giving Machines generated over Php800,000.00 in donations for its three charity partners, Caritas Manila, UNICEF Philippines and HERO Foundation.


The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and its humanitarian arm, Latter-day Saint Charities, held a special turnover ceremony on Thursday, 16 January 2020, to present the checks and in-kind donations to the three charity organizations with a total value of over Php1,000,000.

“We owe the success we achieved to the efforts of everyone in this room,” said Elder Taniela B. Wakolo, General Authority Seventy of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, as he welcomed guests and thanked partners, volunteers and donors. “We are excited to see how all gathered donations will bless the lives of our recipients.”

In the symbolic giving of donations, Winfrey Padlan and Randelle Joshua Manguba, 19-year-old scholars of the Youth Servant Leaders Program (YSLEP) of Caritas Manila, received school backpacks with basic school supplies. Lance Kelly Layug, a military orphan and scholar, received a check with the amount of Php35,000.00 that will help fund his tuition fees and other school-related expenses. Meanwhile, UNICEF received a portable-school-in-a-box, which will assist a teacher in the continuation of 40 children’s education by the first 72 hours of disaster or conflict.

Expression of Gratitude

“I’m beyond grateful,” said 16-year-old Lance who lost his soldier father when he was just four years old. He shared that the event reminded him of his father, who he described as a man with the initiative to help. “We need more people with compassion. We need more people who have the drive to help, who have the drive to reach out.”

Winfrey, on the other hand, shared that Caritas Manila’s YSLEP has helped her become financially capable to support her education as a Performing Arts student at the Polytechnic University of the Philippines. “Education is not all about tuition. We have a lot of financial needs to accomplish our studies,” she said. As a beneficiary of Caritas Manila, Winfrey shared that it has helped her develop a spiritual relationship with God. Not only that, the charity arm of the Roman Catholic church has also given her many opportunities to serve others. The most recent volunteer work she rendered was repacking of goods for the Taal evacuees. “’Thank you’ are just simple words,” she said. “But I mean it with all of my heart.”

Baula, on behalf of the thousands of children who will benefit from the Light the World donations, expressed gratitude to the Church and Latter-day Saint Charities. “Where UNICEF works is with where the least, the last, and the lost are” she said. “The current country programs of UNICEF in the Philippines work in Mindanao, specifically the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao.” UNICEF is currently supporting eight municipalities in that region to help curb malnutrition and lack of access to education. Some of the resolutions of which were part of the Light the World products.

Turnover of Donations

During the presentation of checks, Caritas Manila, represented by Caritas Damayan Priest Minister Rev. Fr. Ricardo Valencia, received the total amount of Php292,900.00 resulting from 2,367 donations given through the Giving Machines.

For UNICEF Philippines, Elder Steven R. Bangerter of the Philippines Area Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints presented the check in the amount of Php 275,850.00, corresponding to 979 donations given through the Giving Machines. Corporate Fundraising Officer Maria Margarita Baula received the check on behalf of the international organization.

Lastly, Elder Wakolo handed over to HERO Foundation’s Executive Director, Retired Major General Victor Bayani, the check with the total amount of Php 280,150.00 given by 3,664 individuals who donated from the Giving Machines.

Overall, the Giving Machines raised a total of Php 848,900.00 for just a period of 54 days in its second year in the Philippines. By comparison, the Giving Machines raised Php 790,900.00 in 2018 with 3,327 transactions.

Another feat for 2019’s Light the World Giving Machine campaign was that the Light the World products were made available online through Lazada. Making the products available for donation to those residing outside Metro Manila did not disappoint. Caritas Manila was able to raise Php34,308.00 while HERO Foundation sold LTW products for a total of Php18,000.00. UNICEF raised Php30,600.00 for donations. 

To combine both online and offline donations, the 'Light the World' Christmas initiative raised Php931,808.00.


To factor in the 50 school backpacks and school supplies for Caritas Manila scholars in Pandacan Manila, valued at Php 25,000.00, the two checks at Php35,000.00 each for HERO Foundation scholars, and the portable-school-in-a-box valued at Php75,000.00 for UNICEF, the Light the World Giving Machines raised a grand total of Php1,101,808.00

One hundred percent of that amount will go directly to help individuals and families become self-reliant. Latter-day Saint Charities, the humanitarian arm of the Church, covered for all other administrative costs.

Retired Major General Victor Bayani, Executive Director of HERO Foundation, expressed gratitude for the donation. “HERO Foundation is very much privileged and honored to be the newest beneficiary of this Light the World project,” he said. He then relayed the good news that HERO Foundation will support not only orphans of soldiers killed in action but also of orphans whose military parent died by accident during disaster relief and rescue operations.

Light the World, One by One

It’s the fourth year that the Church has sponsored the Light the World initiative, but it’s only the second year that the Philippines launched the Giving Machines. Being the only one in Asia to have the special machines, Elder Wakolo expressed its significant in the lives of many individuals.

Unlike an ordinary vending machine wherein people buy to get something, the Giving Machines allow individuals to buy items to give to someone in need, which made it possible for donors to help someone in need instantly all throughout the period from 8 November to 31 December 2019.


Child actress of 'Miracle in Cell No. 7' Filipino remake, Xia Vigor, attended the handover ceremony and performed the song One by One, which was the theme of the Light the World 2019 campaign.

At the conclusion of the event, Elder Wakolo shared two scripture verses that came into his mind during the turnover ceremony. Citing from Matthews 25:40 of the New Testament and Mosiah 2:17 from the Book of Mormon, which is another Testament of Jesus Christ, Elder Wakolo shared that serving others is one form of serving God. He pointed out that the Light the World initiative is a great service that we’re doing to God and His children. “Today is just another reminder that we can do the very best that we can to help one by one, isa-isa. May we continue to light the world through the Light of the World not only at Christmas, not only in the beginning of the year but every day of our lives.”

Global Light the World Giving Machines

In 2019, there were 10 locations of the LTW Giving Machines. The U.S. locations included Gilbert, Arizona; Denver, Colorado; San Jose, California; Las Vegas, Nevada; Laie (Oahu), Hawaii; New York City; and Orem and Salt Lake City, Utah. Worldwide, machines were placed in London, England, and Manila, Philippines.

As a whole, the Giving Machines generated nearly $6.3 million during the Christmas season with a total of 255,814 items purchased for donation purposes.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Latter-day Saint Charities, Caritas Manila, UNICEF Philippines and HERO Foundation expressed gratitude to Trinoma Mall and the other partners who have made the Light the World Giving Machines project a success. They're also deeply thankful to the influencers who have helped promote the LTW Giving Machine project, which include Janella Renner, CNN Philippines junior anchor; Lucas Carson, junior boxer; Eric 'Eruption' Tai, actor, host, gamer and athlete; Diether Ocamp, HERO Foundation ambassador; Chantal Vidella, Star Magic talent and model; Jairus Aquino, ABS-CBN actor; Enos Perez, Warner Music artist; Obed dela Cruz, blogger; Xia Vigor, child actress; and His Eminence Luis Antonio G. Cardinal Tagle. Most importantly, they thanked all those who have donated through the Giving Machines and purchased donation products through the online shopping app as their generosity will help families and individuals, especially children. 

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