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Charity vending machines downtown


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A couple of interesting vending machines have popped up outside of the Underground food court.

You can use your credit card to purchase different items for charity, like food for a family for a week, or a desk for a needy student, or a bale of diapers.  Tangible things like that.

It appears that the Mormons are running the operation and eating the cost of the machines and staff.  The items on offer inside are all for local charities like the Houston Food Bank, and Catholic Charities, and Interfaith Ministries and the like.

Both times I went by, there were tourist families gawking at it, and both made purchases.  I bought a couple of things on behalf of a generous HAIFer who asked me to dispose of a bit of money for him. 

I'm sure this is a Christmas-season thing, but I hope that some day it becomes more common and widespread.  If there was a machine permanently outside of Starbucks, I might be more likely to occasionally purchase a night of Catholic Charities emergency housing for a family for $17, after I've just spent $14 on a coffee and sandwich.


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