GW’s Office of Parking Services will be allowing students, professors and staff with outstanding University parking tickets and overdue fines to pay off their violations with toys.
“It is my personal belief to do something that gives back to those that are less fortunate,” said Larry Cohen, director of Parking Services. “Parking is looked at as someone who just collects money, but the program allows us to do some good for the community.”
Toys will be donated to the United States Marine Corps Toys for Tots program and My Sister’s Place, a domestic violence shelter for women and children located in Northeast D.C.
Cohen conceived the initiativefter his father had done similar charity events. From Nov. 14 to 18, violators will be permitted to pay off tickets with new, unwrapped toys of equal or greater value than the cost of their tickets. The program only applies to University parking tickets – city tickets are not included in the toy drive.
“There is no limit on the parking tickets. We put out the criteria, and if we have to do some tweaking to the program we can do that,” Cohen said. “We had someone come in with $150 in tickets, and we told them to bring in more $20 toys, then one large $100 toy as to be able to give to more kids.”
Toys can be dropped off at the parking office at 2211 H St. To make the exchange, the parking violation and receipts of the toys must be presented to verify the purchase amount.
“This is the first time anything like this has been done,” said Gina Kalasky, project and customer service coordinator for the University. “It’s a great way to give back to the community, especially the younger ones.”