It’s something every driver tries to avoid … a parking ticket. However minor it may be, a parking ticket can throw your entire day off, especially during the holiday season.
But what if you could turn this negative experience into a positive one? This is where the Toys for Tickets program can help.
This annual event is run by the Durham Regional Police (DRPS) through their food and toy drive with help from Municipal Law enforcement officers who are not only in charge of giving tickets but, during the holiday season, they play elves and collect toys.
Anyone who received a ticket between Nov. 24 and Dec. 7 can pay it off by donating a toy equal to or greater than the ticket amount. A receipt indicating the value of the toy must be provided.
According to Brent Varty, coordinator for Municipal Law enforcement, the event has been very successful. The amount of total donations in past years has ranged from $1,500 to $4,500.
“Typically, the value of the donation has exceeded the value of the ticket,” Varty said. “If a ticket is $20, the person will buy a toy worth $25.”
The ages for the toys range from newborn to eighteen years of age.
Tickets issued for illegal parking in accessible spaces and parking in unauthorized spaces are not included.
Those who have received a ticket and wishes to donate a toy can drop it off at the first floor of Oshawa City Hall on Thurs. and Fri. Dec. 6 and 7, from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. then again Sat. Dec. 8th from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
The DRPS will hold a media event on Tuesday, Dec. 11 to pick up the toys from city hall.
“I think it’s a positive thing,” Varty said. “It turns something that usually is a negative situation into something that may feel a little more positive and give back to the community.”