Friday, December 29, 2023

Confessions of a Primary Music Leader: Giving Machine Meets Primary Singing Time

Guess what's awesome? Back in November, I (Lani) got a new calling as the Primary Music Leader at church! I knew that my calling as Stake Relief Society President was coming to an end soon, and the week that I was getting released, I was asked to sub for the primary music leader. I gladly accepted. The Friday before church, I was outside when I was hit with a spiritual message in my mind- "You're going to be the next Primary Music Leader!" With that message came a surge of excitement and happiness. Then I felt a little bad because I knew then that Steve wouldn't be able to call me into the Sunday School like he was considering. I felt bad for Steve because he seems to often have to find new teachers and it's a tough thing to do. 

Anyway, the following Sunday I was indeed called to the position. I accepted my new calling and got to work immediately. I have pondered the purposes of primary and music. I have tried to use the spirit to guide my leadership. I have felt led. One of the first things I felt led to do was a service project during singing time. It all came together in my mind, I submitted the idea to our primary president, she got bishop approval, and we pulled off a really cool giving machine for the kids to create kits for refugees. 
my reference photo
The project mid-way through

Amara hiding behind the finished project.  She helped make it!

Set up in the primary room
Wide angle
Amara made pockets to catch the paper hearts that the kids would be inserting into the machines when they sang with all their hearts
Back view.

Other Giving Machines...

I felt to share this idea on Facebook.  This is what I posted:

For the next few weeks, as the children sing with all their hearts, they’ll earn paper hearts they can put into the giving machine that day. Then they may select a card with a picture of a hygiene item or a winter item to place in the container to donate. The primary president will purchase the actual items, and the week before Christmas, the children will each assemble their own hygiene kit or winter kit for donation to the refugees! I’m excited for the kids to focus on Christ and giving as they “Give as He Gave.” #LightTheWorld

We purchased enough items for every child to make one kit each in a few weeks. We’re not keeping track necessarily of how many of each item the children choose. It would just be too much to organize for us. The giving machines are just a fun way to let the kids be involved and take ownership in the giving. It also keeps the spirit of giving going for the next few weeks. 

The lists for the Hygiene kits and winter kits are on the website for Lifting hands International. There’s links to it on 


 • 1 Winter hat/beanie

 • 1 Pair of socks

 • 1 Pair of knit gloves

 • Place items in a ziplock type bag. Please label bag to indicate whether the kit is for a man, woman, boy, or girl.


 • 1 Shampoo

 • 1 Deodorant

 • 1 Toothpaste

 • 1 Toothbrush

 • 1 Hairbrush or comb

 • 1 Bar of soap

 • 1 Washcloth

 • Place items in a 1 gallon ziplock type bag.

~ Service ideas from

~ If making a machine is too much work, you could just place pictures on your chalk board. 

~ Our giving machine was made from a large washing machine box sourced for free from the local furniture store. 

~ To maximize singing time, the box was made into 3 machines so several kids could go at the same time. We cut one side of the box down the middle and opened it up for 3 full panels.

 Something I didn't expect was how this idea would spread and inspire and affect so many other primaries. After I posted the idea, over the next few weeks I saw several other wards post their take on the idea. That means that there was a lot of other primaries that got to serve and make a difference as they sang.  I LOVE THAT!

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