Red vending machines placed around New York City and other cities across the US thanks to a special charitable initiative are vital during this Christmas season especially, according to former Major League Baseball pitcher Mariano Rivera, who appeared on "Fox & Friends" on Wednesday morning to discuss the Giving Machines effort and his foundation's involvement in it.
"Here in New York, you just pick whatever you want to donate" — in terms of items for specific cash amounts — and then you "decide where you want to donate," said Rivera.
Rivera was inducted into Baseball's Hall of Fame for his years as a New York Yankees relief pitcher. He helped lead the Bronx Bombers to five World Series wins during his years with the team.
Rivera also received the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Donald J. Trump in 2019, who said at the time, "He [Rivera] is the most dominant relief pitcher in the history of baseball. And more than that, he has lived the American dream and shines as an example of American greatness for all to see."
Now, Rivera is involved in this new giving mission through the work of his foundation.
"There's a [Giving] Machine in Rockefeller Center [in Manhattan] — we have them all over the United States — but here in New York, you just pick whatever you want to donate" to others, said Rivera.
He said his group is donating to the Children's Home of Poughkeepsie — and that the vending machines offer "something special" that people can choose from, in order to donate to others effectively and with trust. Anyone can select, via these machines, to donate to dozens of local and global charities.
"Giving back" is key, "especially at limes like this," said Rivera.
"It doesn't matter how much we have if we don't share."
New York City is just one of the major cities in which the red Giving Machines appear this year.
The vending machines also appear in Nashville, Tenn.; Oakland, Calif.; Kansas City; Honolulu — and elsewhere.
"We're battling COVID, we're battling so much stuff" right now, noted Rivera.
"There are people who need hope … and Christmas is a very special time for us to share and bring hope to those in need," he said.
"The right thing [to do] at this time is giving back," he said.
"Bring a smile to a child, bring a smile to a person in need — that's what it all about. It doesn't matter how much we have if we don't share," Rivera also said.
"Christmas is all about giving … Giving to those in need is precious."
He said efforts like this remind him of where he came from, back in Panama — he still remembers how others gave to him when he was a child. He said the police department came into town and gave him a "choo-choo train" — and he still recalls that gesture of kindness all these years later, he said.
Rivera's foundation is a 501c3 public non-profit organization.
To learn more about the Giving Machines effort, watch the video at the top of this article, or access it here.