Grande Prairie Enforcement Services is hoping to take a bit of the sting out of getting a parking ticket this holiday season. From November 25th to December 13th, it will be hosting its annual Toys for Tickets campaign.

“If a person is unfortunate enough to get a parking ticket, to take the sting out a little bit we’re giving the person an opportunity to donate a toy of equal or greater value and if they donate a toy, their ticket will be voided,” says Sergeant Ross Gear with Enforcement Services.

To qualify, the tickets need to be a city bylaw ticket for parking infractions such as parking where you’re not supposed to. The city first started the program back in 2016. Gear says they have generally received positive feedback from the public.

“Again, nobody likes getting a ticket but you know if you happen to get a ticket at least it might turn a negative into a positive experience. At least you can feel good that you’ve done something for your community.”

New unwrapped toys and the receipts can be dropped off at City on 99 during regular business hours until December 13th. Everything will then be collected and distributed to local charities.

Alberta Health Services has also launched its own Toys for Tickets campaign in Grande Prairie. Parking Services will be accepting toy donations that are valued at at least $25 as an alternative to AHS parking fines issued between November 1st and November 30th.

Toys should be in the original packaging and be for ages newborn to 17 years. The toys will be donated to the Grande Prairie Regional Hospital Foundation to be handed out to children in hospital. Toys will be accepted until Dec. 13 at any AHS parking office.