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President Johnson helps unwrap Kansas City Giving Machines for #LightTheWorld

Relief Society General President Camille N. Johnson explains how the 2022 Giving Machines come from a desire to bless others

On a cold, windy day in Kansas City, Missouri, Relief Society General President Camille N. Johnson told a group gathered at the Crown Center how grateful she was to be there with them celebrating the opening of the 2022 Giving Machines.

“I know the best part of Kansas City and it is you. … It’s the spirit you bring to your community. It’s your desire to bless the lives of others,” she said on Nov. 16.

President Johnson said that’s the responsibility of the Relief Society as well. Organized in 1842 with 20 women, now the organization has 7 and a half million women around the world.

“Our objective is to provide relief — relief from spiritual troubles and relief from temporal ills as well. Giving Machines give us an opportunity to do that,” President Johnson said.

Tavia Hunt with the Kansas City Chiefs organization makes a purchase at the Giving Machines in Kansas City, Missouri, on Nov. 16, 2022. | Irene Gallegos

One of the members of the Relief Society in Kansas City is Tammy Reid, wife of Kansas City Chiefs head football coach Andy Reid. Tammy Reid helped emcee the event with Tavia Hunt, another member of the Chiefs family. They outlined how last year — the first year Giving Machines were in Kansas City — more than $311,000 were donated to local and national organizations.

Hunt said: “It’s heartwarming not just on this cold day but well into the future. Our community responded to light the world in the most amazing way last year. We are so happy [the Giving Machines] are back.”

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Giving Machines are expanded and mobile this year, going to 28 locations around the world. The Church takes care of all the administrative costs associated with the machines, so every dollar donated goes directly to the charitable organizations.

The founder of the Missouri Star Quilt Company, Jenny Doan, made a big red “Light the World” quilt to be the prize in a drawing for those who went to the Crown Center to donate at the Giving Machines that night. After the grand opening, Doan wrote on Instagram, “It was such a wonderful day.”

Jenny Doan, back right, with Missouri Star Quilt Company holds up a quilt she made for the Light the World campaign in Kansas City, Missouri, on Nov. 16, 2022. | Screenshot from Instagram

Other local celebrities have been involved in promoting the Giving Machines. Those include Kansas City native and actor Paul Rudd, whose film credits include portraying Ant-Man in Marvel superhero Films. “Let’s help spread a little joy this Christmas,” he said in an Instagram post. And “Modern Family” actor Eric Stonestreet posted a video promoting the machines saying, “You can’t miss the big red box.”

Before removing the wrapping paper on the machines, President Johnson said: “Thank you for collaborating with us. Thank you for blessing the lives of your brothers and sisters.

“We are all children of God. What a blessing it is to share what we have, our abundance, with those who have less, and to lift those who need a hand up.” 

Elder Rodney A. Ames, North America Central Area Seventy and longtime resident of Kansas City, said despite the chilly day, what really warmed his heart was the reason everyone was there: “And that is to lift and inspire and to serve and to love and to give to those who are really in need.”

The Giving Machines are part of the 2022 Light the World initiative, which this year has the theme, “The world needs your light.” More information can be found at LightTheWorld.org. There is also a link for those who want to participate online at LightTheWorld.org/give.

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See how much people generously donated at Giving Machines for #LightTheWorld in 2021
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