Las Vegas-native Dan Reynolds, frontman of rock band Imagine Dragons, was in downtown Summerlin on Tuesday to purchase an assortment of items from a bright red vending machine, except the items weren’t for him.
The vending machine, called the Giving Machine, allows donors to contribute to local nonprofits and international donation campaigns. Reynolds was this year’s first donor.
He said his family appreciated the importance of charity and selflessness. He even worked with one of the recipient nonprofits, Opportunity Village, as a teenager for his Eagle Scout project.
âIt’s for our children. It’s to show them what life is like, âhe said. âIt’s to teach them a quick lesson that it’s not about TikTok. These are not Instagram likes. Your self-esteem, your self-esteem, your zest for life will come from giving to others.
Sponsored by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, individuals can purchase machine items ranging from $ 3 to $ 300. But instead of handing out the selections – clothing and dental hygiene items, meals or school supplies – the contribution is recorded for nonprofit recipients. Donors can also subscribe to university admission requests or performance assessment fees and professional training.
This year’s local nonprofit grantees include Communities in Schools of Nevada, Eye Care 4 Kids, Three Square, Future Smiles, and Opportunity Village. Global grantees include the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and Church World Service Global.
Giving Machine was first launched in the Las Vegas area in 2019 and raised $ 823,000, of which about $ 470,000 went to local nonprofits, according to the church. The project was on hiatus in 2020. This year, Las Vegas is one of the ten cities for the initiative.
Communities in Schools CEO Tami Hance-Lehr said the organization received around $ 90,000 from the machine in 2019, which has helped it support 53 schools in the valley. The association is working on dropout prevention and this year’s donation includes a USB port for access to digital learning, school uniforms, graduation supplies and underwriting the admission fee to the university.
âThey go straight to our schools and help our students remove any barriers that prevent them from coming to school,â Hance-Lehr said.
Jeff Parker, who oversees Project Giving Machine in Las Vegas, said the initiative is successful because people see the big and small ways they can get involved and help those in need.
âWe seek to follow the example of Jesus Christ or any other we follow who we see as an example in our lives that helps us do good,â Parker said.
The Giving Machine will remain in downtown Summerlin, across from Macy’s, from Tuesday to January 3, 2022.