By Makenzie O'Keefe

DENVER (CBS4) — There is a new way to give to others this holiday season — and it’s as easy as buying a candy bar. Denver unveiled Light the World Giving Machines on Monday, at Writer’s Square downtown.

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The machines look like your typical vending machine, but instead, you use it to donate to local and global charities with the click of a button.

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Shoppers can donate items like books, meals and personal care items.

(credit: CBS)

“There are only ten vending machine complexes like this around the country,” explained Darren Walsh, President and CEO of Catholic Charities. “From our perspective you have the ability to give diapers to needy families, or warm meals to those experiencing homelessness across our community.”

There are also some unique options, like donating a chicken to a family in need across the world.

“We’re so blessed and there is such an abundance in our world, it’s easy to forget that something like a chicken can make a big difference in someone else’s world,” explained Sarah Twiss, who’s family was using the giving machine on Monday. “It’s cool to get beyond ourselves and share with people who really need it.”

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Twiss said her family was going to come back later to donate a piglet.

One of the local charities that benefits is the Mile High Ministries, which helps people transitioning out of homelessness.

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“It’s just like walking up to a machine and getting a candy bar,” explained Amy Jackson, with Mile High Ministries. “But you are supporting families around Denver, and around the world just by pushing a button.”

Other local charities that you can donate to include: Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Denver, Rose Andom Center, Black Child Development Institute, Mile High Ministries, Water for People and CWS Global.

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The machines are sponsored by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, who covers machine costs, administrative fees and other overhead. The machines will be in Writer’s Square off 16th and Lawrence until New Year’s Day.

Makenzie O'Keefe