Families and individuals that gave so abundantly to the big red Giving Machines, sponsored by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints each Christmas season, will have to find a virtual way of giving this year.

In a Monday statement, it was announced that #LightTheWorld, the annual giving program of the church, is going online.

“At this time of great global need, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is encouraging people to bring light to the world this Christmas season through simple, meaningful acts of service,” the statement said.

“During these unique and troubling times, we have the opportunity to make a difference in small and natural ways,” said Elder Marcus B. Nash, a General Authority Seventy and executive director of the Missionary Department. “We can be a light that can shine to the world. We invite all to join with us this Christmas season and light the world, one person at a time, one by one, just as the savior did. Together, we can end 2020 on a positive note.”

Beginning Sunday, Nov. 15, LightTheWorld.org will provide several service ideas. These suggestions include:

Volunteer opportunities through JustServe.org (where available).

The ability to donate directly to organizations that partner with Latter-day Saint Charities.

A daily calendar of 25 simple ways to serve others.

Daily texts or emails leading up to Christmas that people can opt in to receive.

In social media posts about such service, the church encourages the use of the #LightTheWorld hashtag.

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the annual Giving Machines (large red vending machines in use since 2017 to help people donate to various charities) will not be used.

One of those successful locations was at the University Place mall in Orem.

The machines, throughout the world, raised $6.2 million to bring food, supplies, clean water, sanitation and personal development workshops to people in need.

“Even though the Giving Machines are on hold, the #LightTheWorld initiative still provides many other opportunities to give and share the infinite hope, peace and love of our Savior Jesus Christ,” Nash said. “We encourage people to be thoughtful as they decide the best way to give back this holiday season.”

The church suggests that this Christmas, individuals and families can again enjoy the retelling of the birth of Jesus as depicted in the 18-minute video, “The Christ Child.” In addition, the church will release a unique behind-the-scenes video, “The Making of ‘The Christ Child.’ ”

This new production provides added scriptural and historical context that went into the original project. Both videos will be available at LightTheWorld.org., according to the church.

Daily Herald reporter Genelle Pugmire can be contacted at gpugmire@heraldextra.com, (801) 344-2910, Twitter


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