News Release

General Officers Participate in Light the World Giving Machines Launch in the Philippines

The Light the World Giving Machines are brightening the Christmas season in the Philippines.

An unveiling ceremony was held at the Ayala Center Cebu Mall on November 16, 2023, with Relief Society General President Camille N. Johnson and Primary General President Susan H. Porter.

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“It was thrilling to be part of the launch of the Giving Machines in Cebu,” said President Johnson. “We had the opportunity to discuss with members of the community the blessings and benefits that will come as people participate, sharing just a few pesos, to contribute to the needs of their brothers and sisters here in Manila and Cebu.”

President Johnson was accompanied by her husband, Doug, and President Porter was joined by her sister, Jeanette H. Harris. Participating in their ministry were members of the Philippines Area: Elder Steven R. Bangerter, Area President, and his wife, Susann; and Elder Yoon H. Choi, First Counselor, and his wife, Bon Kyung Koo.

The Giving Machines connect shoppers with an easy and uplifting experience to support local charitable organizations. Operating much like a traditional vending machine, donors can choose from a wide selection of items to benefit people in need.

“We’ve heard how children that were working in sugar cane fields had the opportunity to participate in primary school this year because of the contributions of the good people here in Cebu,” said President Johnson.

This year, donations for purchase include food packs, hygiene kits, educational materials, student financial aid, emergency and repair kits, multivitamins, eyeglasses and eye-care packages, medical kits, water kits, crutches, wheelchairs, immunization packages, and psychosocial support.

Christmas is arguably the biggest holiday in the Philippines, with the season lasting three to four months. The Giving Machines are quickly becoming a Christmas tradition for many families.

“Christmas celebrations start in September in the Philippines,” said President Porter. “We received a question, ‘Can’t the giving machines come earlier?’ Because why wait until November to think about giving the light of the Savior?”

Primary General President Susan H. Porter makes a purchase at a Giving Machine in Cebu, Philippines, on November 16, 2023. 2023 by Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved.
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The Giving Machines are sponsored by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints as a way to share the love of Jesus Christ. The Church covers all operational costs for every item purchased, ensuring that 100% of every donation goes to recipient organizations, including Caritas Manila; Caritas Cebu; Feed The Children, Inc.; HERO Foundation, Inc.; Mabuhay Deseret Foundation and UNICEF.

“Being involved with something like this is truly something magical,” said Xiamara Sophia “Xia” Vigor, a popular actress and guest host for the event. “Just to think that these Light the World Giving Machines really leave an impact in the lives of a lot of people.”

A Giving Machine in Manila is also being hosted by Ayala Malls TriNoma in Quezon City on Level 4, near Cinema 1. The Giving Machine inside the Ayala Center Cebu mall is on Level 3 (between Casa Verde and Dessert Factory). All Giving Machines will be available during mall hours until January 1, 2024.

Actress and influencer Xiamara Sophia “Xia” Vigor takes a picture with attendees of the Giving Machines launch in Cebu, Philippines, on November 16, 2023. 2023 by Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved.
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“The whole idea is the light that shone from the star of Bethlehem that stood over the shepherds, leading the Wise Men,” said President Porter. “We can become those lights that lead people to Christ, that alleviate suffering, and that bring hope to so many.”

This year, as a special gift of appreciation, randomly selected donors who make a purchase at a Giving Machine in Manila will receive a free ticket to attend the world tour concert of The Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra at Temple Square in Manila next February.

The Philippines is the second stop on the Choir’s “Hope” world tour. The Tabernacle Choir, established in 1847, has performed at various events, including U.S. presidential inaugurations.

Since 2018, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has hosted Giving Machines in the Philippines. To date, the Giving Machines have collected over US$22 million in donations for many beneficiaries across the globe.

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