Give a toy, get out of a parking ticket with TTU - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

Give a toy, get out of a parking ticket with Texas Tech University

By Christie Post - email

LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) – It is the time of year for giving back, but Texas Tech University Parking Services has taken that idea a step further by dismissing parking citations in exchange for toys from November 15th until December 5th.

The idea sprang five years ago. Because seeing a ticket on your windshield is like a pot hole in your day, especially during the holiday season.

University Parking Services said they give out hundreds of tickets every day. And tickets can range anywhere from $20 to $200 depending on how many times a person parks illegally.

"It's kind of a way for students to stick it to the man and still give back," said Heather Medley, University Parking Services Marketing Coordinator.

But now the money from each fine can go to a greater cause, the Marine Toys for Tots Foundation. "The first year we did the program, one of the marines that dropped off the bucket had been a recipient of toys for tots. And it was really sweet for it to come full circle," said Medley.

So instead of students paying hefty parking fines during the holiday season, they can exchange their ticket by simply giving a toy for equal or greater value to the ticket. It's called Toys for Tickets. The program gives students and people around campus who have gotten a ticket a chance to give up the cash and buy a toy for a child in need.

"One of my old roommates and one of my friend's went and did it. And they liked it a whole lot better than paying money," said Josh Talbot, a student at Texas Tech University.

Last year, more than $3,000 in parking ticket fines were dismissed and Parking Services said they are on track to do the same this year. "We had bicycles brought in. Often people bring in more toys than what's required to get there citation dismissed. So people really participate and give out of the goodness of their heart," said Medley.

Something once thought of as a negative can now be turned into a positive. "Everybody I've talked to thinks it's a great idea. I hope they do it every holiday," Talbot.

And if you haven't received a parking ticket you can still donate toys. All you need to do is drop them off in the large barrels located at any of the seven entrances into Tech before Sunday.

Copyright 2010 KCBD. All rights reserved.

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