If you’re a driver in Las Vegas and happen to park where you ought not to, there’s a chance you won’t have to pay that pesky fine — as long as you make a donation of school supplies.
This option is not permanent, but the Las Vegas City Council approved it as temporary measure through July 19, which means anyone who has parked in a 15-minute loading zone can swap her monetary fine for some No. 2 pencils for school children.
If you’ve gotten a parking ticket in Las Vegas, you can show up at the Parking Services Offices at 500 S. Main St with new, unwrapped school supplies of equal or greater value to the fine. If it’s a $25 ticket, that can be a lot of notebooks and pencils! You have to turn in the school supplies within 30 days of getting the parking ticket and you need to show a purchase receipt for the donation. Plus, this alternative only valid for people with non-public safety citations … you can’t get out of speeding with some dry erase markers.
The city council voted unanimously for the measure to take place between June 19 and July 19 of this year. Any supplies the city collects will be donated to the Teacher Exchange, a 501(c)3 nonprofit that is associated with the Public Education Foundation.
The city is accepting all sorts of supplies including pencils, pens, erasers, dry erase markers, index cards, paper towels and disinfecting wipes, card stock, copy paper, storage bins, rulers, scissors, pencil sharpeners and sticky notes. You may even have supplies like this just lying around your house, waiting to be donated to a good cause.
And, FYI, this isn’t the first time the city of Las Vegas has let people pay tickets with donations. In 2016, the City Council set the stage for such measures when it adopted an ordinance that authorized “the establishment of this occasional program allowing for charitable donations in lieu of payment for parking fines,” according to the City Council press release. In fact, in November of 2016, Las Vegas let people pay parking tickets with donations of toys to a domestic violence charity.
If you want to help but you aren’t in Las Vegas, consider donating directly to a teacher’s classroom through the organization Donors Choose. You can help teachers buy everything from art supplies to musical instruments to fund an elementary school orchestra.
Doing good deeds instead of paying parking fines? It almost gives you a reason to let your meter run out.