In many towns around the country, getting a parking ticket is an opportunity to do good. Police departments in cities from across the country allow parking violators to pay for their ticket by donating school or pet supplies to local schools or shelters.

In some towns, news of the program spread so fast that even people without parking violations contacted the police with donations. In Muncie, Indiana, officers had to dispatch a police vehicle to pick up contributions at donors’ homes. Their program focused on pet supplies after a police officer’s daughter noticed the shelter was overwhelmed with hundreds of abandoned kittens during the breeding season. Nearby towns were calling the Muncie police department asking for details on how they could run similar donation programs.

“Nobody likes to get a parking ticket. But if you can pay it forward and give a donation of school supplies that will help somebody, it kind of makes it less bad,” said Las Vegas city spokesman, Jace Radke.

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Las Vegas has operated a similar donation program since 2016, with just a one month window in the summer for donations. Parking violators between June and July have 30 days to bring in un-opened school supplies of equal value and their ticket is waived. So far this summer, the police department has collected $1,707 in donations that they hand over to a local nonprofit affiliated with the school system.

“It’s reached people that don’t even have a parking ticket to pay. They just want to do good,” said Erin Vader from Olathe, Kansas, which runs a similar donation program.

Most tickets eligible for the donation program are small, low-risk tickets that equal about $25, as is done so in Muncie. For the majority of the programs, larger tickets, or more serious violations that might require a court hearing are ineligible to meet the donation option– including parking in a handicap space, or in a fire lane.

Via Washington Post

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