There was an animal shelter in a city in Indiana that became overwhelmed with the number of animals brought in. To be specific; there were too many kittens in the shelter for them to be able to care for with the supplies they had available. Help was needed. Fortunately for them a police officer’s daughter works at the shelter and made the department aware of the organization’s need. To ease the pressure, police created a trade-off: For five days in July, people could pay for their parking tickets by donating to the shelter the equivalent value of cat food or litter. Residents who brought their donations to the Muncie Police Department police chief’s office with a receipt proving the value got their tickets wiped away.
Muncie is among cities across the country that are opting temporarily to accept charitable donations in lieu of monetary payments for parking infractions. From Anchorage, to Woodstock, Va., municipalities are writing off tickets in exchange for school supplies or cat litter — a way to fill a community need while lessening the sting of getting a ticket. Some cities offer a discount to people who pay with a donation, while choosing the donation option in other municipalities simply allows the payer to feel good. It is important to note that they are not letting people off on dangerous tickets – Only offenses that didn’t pose a safety hazard counted: Donations couldn’t resolve a moving violation or a ticket for parking in a handicap spot. Most tickets that people paid with donations were worth about $25 each and had been issued for parking too long in a certain zone, said Officer Chase Winkle, a spokesman for the Muncie Police Department.
And it worked better than expected. The initiative generated buzz beyond people who used the program to pay for their tickets, Winkle said, and it inspired residents without parking infractions to donate. If someone couldn’t get to the police department or the shelter, the department sent a uniformed car to pick up their contribution. People across the country sent supplies, Winkle said, and other cities called Muncie police to ask how they had run their program.
It’s one of those things that grows beyond the original intent; kindness tends to spread, and like a stone tossed in a pond the ripple grows. And the Muncie program isn’t the only one. You can read about others in your Good News Story of the Day here. Remember that there are those out there who often need a little help getting through the day and not all of them can tell you. Some walk on four legs and rely on our kindness. Fortunately kindness can be abundant and inspiring. Hence your Good News Story of the Day.
Story and Image from the Washington Post.