I bought a Sewing Machine from a Vending Machine

Holiday Greetings to you, my friends!  Thank you so much for your kind words on Gretel in my last post. I love when my sentimental posts and creations strike a reminiscent chord with other people too.

In the words of the Grinch, “Why, Christmas is practically here!” I’ve had such mixed feelings this December. (My guess is that I’m not alone in this.) I love this season so much. I love the meaning, the lights, the music, the food, the time to get together with friends, and hear from friends from years past, and the true spirit of the season.

But I’m also a basket of stress and this month has been a doozy for me. Even in my efforts to simplify and focus on what matters most, it’s been hard. There are so many people that I love and who I want to know of my love for them. But I can’t humanly do it all. Trying to find the balance between spreading Christmas cheer and not losing my marbles is always a tightrope walk.

It’s a Christmas conundrum for me. Maybe we can make January cards a thing?

But here’s something cool that I did do! Have you ever wondered if it would be possible to buy diapers, an eye exam, and a chicken from a vending machine? Well let me tell you how!

This year Giving Machines were set up in Manhattan, London, Salt Lake City, Manilla, Philippines, and Gilbert, Arizona.

These machines let you support causes that help people in crisis close to home and around the world. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has partnered with local food banks and charities in the cities where the machines are located as well as global organizations such as Care.org, UNICEF, and Wateraid.org.

I love that these organizations don’t just give a temporary handout, but look for long term solutions such as sanitary water and sustainable food sources, education, and job skills.

Buying a water bottle from this machine included a donation to Wateraid.org and Waterforpeople.org. (100% of the money given for the specific items/causes goes directly to the partnering organizations, with all administrative costs covered by the LDS Church.)

Can you guess what I bought from the Giving Machines? (Okay, I already gave that away in the title of this post.) How could I not? I know how much sewing has benefited my life in SO many ways, it made me a little teary to hope that the gift of a sewing machine might do the same for someone else.

These machines are given to women and men in need to provide source of income and independance.  I’m SO delighted that Care.org recognizes that as a benefit and means to empower other women and men globally.

Want to hear something cool? As of last Monday (Dec 18) $1.3 million had been raised through the Giving Machines and $75,465 of that money was for sewing machines. I love to think of how many other sewing lovers out there wanted to make the gift of sewing possible.

Speaking of makers who give, we have raised $1730 for the California Wildfire Relief Fund thanks to the generosity of many of you! (I have covered the Paypal fees so that 100% of the money contributed goes directly to that fund.)

Thanks to all of you for working together to make the world a better place. Individually it’s hard to feel like we can make a difference when SO many are in need, but collectively, our small contributions do help in significant ways.

And that’s what Christmas is all about, Charlie Brown.

Want to read more about the Giving Machines? Go here. You can also contribute to the global partner charities without having to find a Giving Machine.

Seasons Greetings! Merry Christmas! Happy Hanukkah! Joyous Kwanzaa! Feliz Navidad! Happy Holidays! Peace on Earth, Goodwill toward All!

Whatever you are celebrating this season, I send you the best wishes from our house to yours and to those you love.

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  • Reply
    Karen Seitz
    December 24, 2018 at 7:31 pm

    The Giving Machines are a fantastic idea. I hope they spread to other areas of the country and world. How great that purchasing a sewing machine is an option. 🙂 Have a wonderful Christmas Eve and Christmas Day!

    • Reply
      December 25, 2018 at 12:16 pm

      Aren’t they a great idea?! It’s so fun to watch little kids use the machines and decide what they want to give – there were so many great and practical options! And I especially loved seeing that sewing machine choice. Have a wonderful Christmas, Karen!!

  • Reply
    December 24, 2018 at 9:16 pm

    The Giving Machines are such a great idea! I purchased the CA quilt pattern, just need to sew the last 2 borders on then will post it on IG. There are so many needs, it is helpful to discover ways in which to make a contribution. My quilt group is making quilts and pillowcases for We Care, to go to the school children affected by the Camp Fire.
    Wishing you and your family a happy and peaceful Christmas.

    • Reply
      December 25, 2018 at 12:14 pm

      Oh, that’s so wonderful! And I can’t wait to see you California quilt. Wishing you a happy Christmas as well!

  • Reply
    December 25, 2018 at 12:04 am

    When I saw that sewing machines were an option at the giving machines, I had my Sis-in-law go back to the one in Gilbert and purchase one for me… I just couldn’t resist! Such a simple and beautiful way to pass along something that has brought be so much joy.

    • Reply
      December 25, 2018 at 12:13 pm

      I loved that they were such a popular item in the machines! It’s like the classic ‘give a man a fish vs. teach a man to fish’. It’s the gift that keeps on giving!

  • Reply
    December 25, 2018 at 2:47 am

    That is such a great idea – I don’t know if it’s done over here, but what a better world we would have if everyone just chipped in.

    • Reply
      December 25, 2018 at 12:12 pm

      So true! A little bit from a lot of people makes a real difference!

  • Reply
    December 25, 2018 at 5:42 am

    Well this post has just made my Christmas morning! Thanks for sharing!

    • Reply
      December 25, 2018 at 12:11 pm

      I’m so glad. Merry Christmas to you, Diane!

  • Reply
    December 25, 2018 at 6:06 am

    What a brilliant idea – we need that in London Merry Christmas!

    • Reply
      December 25, 2018 at 12:10 pm

      Isn’t it great?! You can find the one in London on Exhibition Road, across the street from the Natural History Museum! I love that it’s helping abroad as well as local London charities. Merry Christmas to you too!

  • Reply
    December 25, 2018 at 6:52 am

    What a great idea

  • Reply
    December 25, 2018 at 6:53 am

    lovely. These giving machines are a good reminder to all of us that we live so well, but there are many all over the world and even in our own country that have nothing

    I remember how so much more was done in the 60’s and 70’s,. So many churches were involved in equipping communities in Africa with these necessities of life. We found as many treadle sewing machines as we could gather to send to Ethiopia and other parts of Africa The way people live in those terribly poor countries is shocking, even today.
    I am sure there is a machine such as this somewhere in my community.
    It is really astounding that in 2018 we live on a planet where so many countries do not have electricity or fresh water.
    Thank you Amy for sharing this.
    Merrry Christmas to you and your family.
    As always your blog is a treasure and inspiring

    • Reply
      December 25, 2018 at 12:09 pm

      Thank you, Rosemary! Your comments are always so kind and encouraging. They make my day! Wishing you and your loved ones a wonderful Christmas season!

  • Reply
    December 25, 2018 at 9:11 am

    WOW!! What a fantastic idea! The Giving Machines are genius! I hope they put them everywhere!! Merry Christmas to you and yours and all the best in 2019!!

    • Reply
      December 25, 2018 at 12:08 pm

      Thank you, Cathy! Merry Christmas to you and yours as well! xo

  • Reply
    Teresa Carmine
    December 25, 2018 at 9:13 am

    I donated a Singer treadle to missionary from here in Ohio! This was back in 2004! Who works in South Africa! It is so neat to think that my machine is helping a woman and her kids to rise above poverty and make a better life through sewing! I am a seamstress and quilter and being, able to use my talents to care for my family is more rewarding than a high paying job! Tessa C.

    • Reply
      December 25, 2018 at 12:08 pm

      How wonderful! And I totally agree, Teresa! My sewing machine has brought me so much fulfilment – I love the idea of them getting into the hands of many more women.

  • Reply
    December 25, 2018 at 9:52 am

    Wow! I didn’t know those were in the machines! That happens to be 1,161 people whose lives will improve, and maybe change forever, because of the gift of a sewing machine! They are sturdy and almost impossible to break – new needles and belts and cleaning and away it goes for another million stitches. If I still lived in Phoenix, I’d have been over in Gilbert using a gift machine. I don’t know whose idea that was last year, but I hope it expands again next year! Thanks for posting about this. I hope all culminated for you in a wonderful day today. Peace and love and #lightheworld!

    • Reply
      December 25, 2018 at 12:07 pm

      Seriously, who ever came up with that idea was a genius! Such a creative way for people to give to real needs!

  • Reply
    Sally Price
    December 25, 2018 at 10:19 pm

    Amy, I had no idea about this…but I live in Gilbert, AZ…turns out it wasn’t more than two miles from the house! I mentioned it at Christmas dinner and all the kids, ages 7-13, asked if we could go so they could donate their Christmas money! They got a sewing machine, two chickens, seeds, and water. I was so proud I almost cried…and I am so pleased to say that the place was packed, some people had driven over an hr to buy a goat…and whole families were there. The volunteers there helping said it’d been like that all day! So thanks for the heads up on a great way to share the Christmas spirit with the world!

    • Reply
      December 26, 2018 at 12:12 pm

      No way!! That is so awesome. What a sweet Christmas memory!

  • Reply
    Lucy - Charm About You
    December 27, 2018 at 2:13 pm

    Amy that is fabulous!! I’ve never seen any like that here but it’s a great idea! I hope you and your family had a very Merry Christmas ❤️

  • Reply
    February 1, 2019 at 1:16 pm

    Amy, during the holiday season, I was just as busy as the rest of the world. I didn’t have time to read this post, but, I saved the email in my inbox, and opened and read the post, today. I am so glad that you shared this! What a warm message! The giving machines are a brilliant idea and I appreciate you sharing your experience with all of us! You’ve given me something to smile about!

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