See how many Giving Machines donations have been made so far during ‘Light the World’ campaign
The data shows that there have been 58,500 unique transactions at the machines. The church estimates the total number of participants at 234,000
This article was first published in the ChurchBeat newsletter. Sign up to receive the newsletter in your inbox each Wednesday night.
The first statistical tidbits about this year’s Giving Machines are rolling out and, as always, the numbers are large and unique.
More than 146,355 donation items have been purchased at Giving Machines — the humanitarian aid vending machines that are part of the annual Light the World initiative sponsored by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
The church provided these updated numbers through Dec. 21 (an update from Wednesday night’s email newsletter, which had numbers through Dec. 15):
12.5 million water purification tablets
326,000 polio vaccines
15,422 sanitation & hygiene supplie kits
9,862 school supply kits for children
7,781 education, job skills training, and college scholarships
7,238 bags of seeds
2,820 goats and pigs
The data shows that there have been 58,500 unique transactions at the machines. The church estimates the total number of participants at 234,000.
The church doubled the number of cities with Giving Machines this year to 20. Eight other cities have received visits from mobile Giving Machines.
Those who don’t live near a Giving Machine can donate online.
In all, the Giving Machines have raised more than $15 million. The church covers all costs, so 100% of every donation goes to the charitable cause of a donor’s choice.
This year’s “Light the World” Giving Machines will operate through Jan. 2.
Have a very merry Christmas, everyone!
My recent stories
About the church
Watch President Russell M. Nelson’s video Christmas message.
The church announced Wednesday that, effective immediately, all Sunday School classes and Sunday meetings for Elders Quorums, Relief Society, Aaronic Priesthood quorums and Young Women should begin with a prayer.
The Christmas concert by the Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra at Temple Square was astoundingly good. (A dear friend of my wife gave her two tickets.) Lea Salonga’s rendition of “O Holy Night” staggered me. And David Suchet’s telling of a story about a man who saved 600 children from the Holocaust was a beautiful tear-jerker. Read what he said about why the annual concert is so successful. And read Lottie Johnson’s “5 highlights from the Tabernacle Choir’s Christmas concert, which includes the story Suchet told.
View a photo gallery of the the Washington D.C. Temple’s international Nativity display.
See the renderings of announced temples in Singapore, Taiwan, California and Tennessee in this story.
See the exact locations for three new temples in Ohio, Texas and Chile in this story.
The church is providing 130,000 fruit tree seedlings in Tanzania. Learn why here.
What I’m reading
Elder Matthew S. Holland spoke at Mike Leach’s memorial service on Tuesday. I wrote last week about the death of Leach, a BYU grad and an architect of the “Air Raid” offense in college football. Elder Holland called him “an arresting, one-of-a-kind character” who transformed lives by helping strangers in need, which was him exercising his faith. See more here.
Here’s a great story about the first woman to serve as TV baseball analyst, Sarah Langs. Her infectious love for the game continues even after receiving a terminal ALS diagnosis. You’ll gain from the beauty of the way she lives her life and others are helping her. “The number one thing for me was to continue being me,” she told the New York Post’s excellent Andrew Marchand. The Athletic (paywall) also has a terrific story.
From the Wall Street Journal: The secret phone call to Bob Iger. The text Jim Cramer sent Disney’s CFO. The disastrous board meeting that sank Bob Chapek. This is the full account of Disney’s epic power struggle (paywall).
Argentina super footballer Lionel Messi finally won the World Cup that had eluded him. Now a photographer’s image of his celebration has become the most-liked Instagram post in history, with more than 69 million likes. It was an epic game. The U.S. television audience was the second-largest ever for a soccer match. Early numbers show a combined audience of 25.78 million. The record is 26.7 million for the 2015 Women’s World Cup final. I haven’t seen figures for the global audience, but the 2018 men’s World Cup final drew 1.12 billion viewers.
I love Saturday NFL games. I’ve never forgotten watching the greatest comeback in league history in a 1992 playoff game, when a team came back from 32 to win. Last Saturday, I watched the Minnesota Vikings beat that record, coming back from 33-0 to beat the Indianapolis Colts. How unlikely was it? Well, NFL teams with 30-point leads had a record of 1,548-1-1 going into this game. That’s a winning percentage of 99.903%.
It was a blast to watch! Here’s a two-minute video showing how the Vikings did it with the team’s announcer calling the plays. Here’s a five-minute video that shows step-by-step how much the Vikings’ win probability increased throughout the comeback. Here’s a short description of each of the five biggest comebacks in NFL history. The Athletic (paywall) has a good piece breaking down the improbable. And the Ringer shares the most ridiculous moments of the comeback.
According to the NGS win probability model, the @Vikings' win probability was as low as 0.4% when they trailed 33-0 with 13:22 remaining in the 3rd quarter.— Next Gen Stats (@NextGenStats) December 17, 2022
The win goes down as the 2nd-most statistically improbable comeback in the NGS era.
📸: Top 5 Comebacks, NGS era pic.twitter.com/Q2SpbTSiF3
Behind the Scenes
Here are some of my favorite nativities among the 87 I saw on display at the international crèche display in the Washington D.C. Temple Visitors’ Center: