Thursday, Nov. 17, 2016 | 2 a.m.
The holiday spirit has descended upon Las Vegas’ Parking Services department, which is letting people pay parking fines with toys for children.
The charitable event, which the Las Vegas City Council approved Wednesday, represents a partnership between Parking Services and Safe Nest, a local nonprofit that helps victims of domestic violence and their children.
Here’s how it will work: Drivers issued nonpublic safety parking tickets from Nov. 15 through Nov. 30 may resolve the fine by giving a nonviolent toy of equal or greater value. The unwrapped toy, the receipt for it and the parking ticket will be accepted at the Parking Services office, 500 S. Main St. The office is in the City Hall parking garage next to MTO Café.
The toys will be accepted in lieu of paying parking fines until Dec. 15. The Parking Services office is open from 7:30 a.m. to 5:15 p.m. Monday through Friday and from 9 a.m. to 5 pm. on Saturday and Sunday.
The toys collected will be given to children living at the shelter during the holidays, said Hannah Brook, director of community and donor relations at Safe Nest. Any leftover toys will serve as birthday gifts for the children.
“When kids come into the shelter, we want to make their lives as normal as possible,” she said.
The program is modeled after a similar one in Lexington, Ky., Parking Services Manager Brandy Stanley said. Two cities in Florida — Tallahassee and Tampa — have launched similar programs.
“We’re excited about the program,” Stanley said. “We hope a lot of people participate.”
Parking violators eligible to participate in the program will receive a note attached to their parking ticket.