News Release

LTW Giving Machine Raise 800K, Church Turns Over Donation to Charity Partners

When the Light the World Giving Machines of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints were launched in Manila for the first time in November 2018, it lit up social media and even the news media. It was the first time for the Philippines, and even the whole of Asia, to have such a medium where people can donate to someone in need hassle-free and in minutes.


As part of the 2018 Light the World Christmas campaign of the Church, two giving machines – red special vending machines – were set up at SM Megamall from 24 November 2018 to 31 December 2018 to encourage people to follow Jesus Christ’s example, which is to give freely.

Members and friends of the Church responded to the invitation with astonishing results. As of 31 December 2018, the total amount of donations given through the machines was Php 811,810.00 (USD 15,611.72) with a total of 3,327 transactions.

On 20 February 2019, the Church with Latter-day Saints Charities turned over 100% of the Light the World Giving Machines donations to the beneficiaries of the giving machines, namely UNICEF Philippines, Caritas Manila, and The Purple Centers Foundation.

During the special turnover ceremony, Jairus Perez, Country Director of Latter-day Saints Charities, gave a report on the global output of the LTW giving machines, which placed the Philippines as the fourth location to have generated many transactions. A feat that can only be credited to the generous hearts of Filipinos and foreigners in the country.

Following the report, Elder Taniela B. Wakolo, of the Seventy, and Jairus Perez turned over the checks to the partners. In summary, Caritas Manila received 728 donations amounting to
Php 305,570.66 (USD 5,876.36). UNICEF Philippines received 1,108 donations with the equivalent amount of Php 311,010.70 (USD 5,980.96). Meanwhile, The Purple Centers Foundation received 1,491 donations with a total value of Php 195,228.55 (USD 3,754.40). The figures are based on the actual amount deposited to the bank from the giving machines

After the turnover ceremony, Elder Wakolo thanked the charity partners, organizers and the teams involved in making the LTW Giving Machines campaign a huge success.

“It’s truly a remarkable and a joyous occasion because we know that such help will impact and touch the lives of families and individuals,” Elder Wakolo said.

Elder Wakolo then shared about Jesus Christ’s teaching on service. He referred to scripture passages found on the Bible and the Book of Mormon, sharing that the Savior invited His disciples to serve as He did. He also shared that those who serve others are only in the service of God.

The Church leader also added, to the benefit of the guests, the reason Church temples and meetinghouses don’t have crosses. He explained by sharing a quote by one of the Church presidents saying, “We believe Jesus Christ died on the cross, but our wish and hope is that the cross is amplified and exemplified by the way that individual members of the Church live their lives. And they carry the cross by the way they live their lives every day.”

Following Elder Wakolo’s remarks, representatives from the charity organizations gave messages of gratitude for the partnership with the Church.

Ma. Margarita Baula, Corporate Fundraising Officer of UNICEF Philippines, seconded what Elder Wakolo expressed about the cross and what it symbolizes for the Church and added that the story of Jesus doesn’t end in the cross because there is His resurrection. “The cross is really the people,” she added.

Baula then expressed appreciation of how the Church, Caritas Manila, The Purple Centers Foundation can come together for such a project. “UNICEF is supposed to be non-partisan, non-religious and all that, but we do understand -- do have a common goal of getting together – and making sure that the poor are fed, educated. That we are actually there for them.”

UNICEF is a long-time global partner of LDS Charities and the Church, and Baula expressed gratitude for the partnership. She then expressed hope that they will become stewards of the funds that individuals and families donated through the machines.

Stewardship Division Head of Caritas Manila Geran Navarro gave thanks to the Church. “On behalf of Caritas Manila, we would like to thank the LDS for choosing Caritas Manila as beneficiary and partner of [the] Light of the World campaign,” he said.

“The ministry of Jesus Christ did not end at the cross. The ministry is actually never-ending,” Navarro said in connection with what Elder Wakolo has said. He then went on to share that Caritas Manila also follows the works of Jesus Christ for the least, last and lost of society, especially the poorest of the poor communities in the Philippines.

Navarro then shared that they will use the money for the programs of Caritas Manila, especially the YSLEP and their other ministries such as disaster relief and emergency response.

“It’s also our prayer that we’ll be the stewards of this money and to share this to everyone who is in need,” he said.

Moreover, Amor Reyes, Development Communication Officer of The Purple Centers Foundation, also expressed gratitude for the opportunity given to help more of their beneficiaries. “The donations will go a long way in helping us support the needs of the communities that we serve, the people of Smokey Mountain, the people of Irisan Dumpsite in Baguio, and the relocation sites in Bulacan,” she said.

“Witnessing the everyday struggles of our children, it challenges us. Seeing their smiles and their faces, it makes us inspired to do more. And we owe it to our partners like LDS Charities and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, for believing in our cause. We are hoping that you will continue to be a blessing for those in need as we are,” Reyes said.

The Light the World Giving Machines are special vending machines with a twist as they allowed individuals to purchase something, be it food, medicine kits, school supplies, college allowances or mobility aids, as donations. During the Christmas season, the machines were placed in five locations – Salt Lake City, Utah; Gilbert, Arizona; New York, New York; London, UK; and Manila, Philippines. Worldwide, the Light the World Giving Machines generated $2,309,844 in donations worldwide with 92,190 transactions.

Style Guide Note:When reporting about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, please use the complete name of the Church in the first reference. For more information on the use of the name of the Church, go to our online Style Guide.