Parking Services’ Toys for Tickets a success

Gathering toys at the Children’s Services pickup were (left to right) Aaron Kane, manager of Shuttle and Parking Services; Sandi Carsey, Child Protective Services administrator; Tonya Camden, Child Protective Services supervisor; and Ashley Allen, Parking Services public relations coordinator. Carsey and Camden will distribute the toys for Christmas to foster children of families that are part of their agency contacts.

Parking Services staff members help load up donated toys for the Children’s Resource CenterStudents, faculty, staff and community members who received tickets from the University’s Parking Services traded in nearly 600 toys for their tickets this holiday season.

This is the first year for the Toys for Tickets program, whose great success took organizers by surprise.

“I would say it more than exceeded our expectations,” said Ashley Allen, public relations coordinator for Parking Services. “Students kept commenting on how they really loved the program.”

The toys were donated to Wood County Children’s Services, which promotes the protection and safety of children and the well-being of families, and Wood County Children’s Resource Center, which provides mental health and addiction services to children, adolescents and families.

“Wood County Children's Services thanks everyone for the donation of toys,” said Brandy Laux, family assessment unit supervisor. “These toys will be given to children who may not be receiving much for Christmas. This not only puts a smile on the children's faces, but the parents’ as well, who, for unforeseen circumstances, may not be able to give their child a gift for Christmas.”

Anyone who received a citation between Oct. 1, 2016, and Dec. 9, 2016, was invited to bring it to the Parking Office with a new, unwrapped toy and have the citation dismissed. The toy needed to be of similar value to the citation amount. Citations such as for forged/illegal permits and those received for parking in a handicap area did not qualify for this program.

“So many families in Wood County have been blessed by your generosity, and we thank you from the bottom of our hearts,” said Cindy Eckel from the Children’s Resource Center.

Toys were also accepted from students, faculty, staff and community members who did not have citations, but who wanted to donate to these organizations.

“They heard about what we were doing and brought in bags of toys, or they received a warning citation, saw the flier and still wanted to donate,” Allen said.

Organizers already are anticipating a toy drive in 2017.

“I cannot thank the everyone enough for the outpouring of toys during this event,” said Aaron Kane, Shuttle and Parking Services manager. “The campus community went above and beyond to give to these two great causes, and I’m looking forward to doing it again next year.”