Good Neighbors

Feeding The Parking Meter Helps Adults With Disabilities

"Parking for Hope" has raised over $144K since it started.

Drivers in Santa Cruz, CA are putting their pocket change to good use this week as part of the city's sixth annual "Parking for Hope Program" that helps fund employment and training programs for adults with disabilities.

From Wed., December 18th to Wed., December 25th all change from downtown street meters will be donated to Hope Services, a local non-profit that keeps citywide services, like the litter abatement crew, going.

"I think the intent was to find ways to continue to give back to the community to provide funding for services that also provide services for downtown," Brian Borguno, Parking Manager with the City of Santa Cruz, told KSBW-8 .

While Hope Services does get funding from other services, the holiday parking program helps to raise a lot of money in a short period of time to go toward training crews and keeping them employed. The program is especially important since funding for the litter removal staff was drastically decreased a few years ago.

"For example, last year people donated about $30,000 and that's a huge portion that goes toward supporting that crew," Hope Services Program Manager, Sheryl Hagemann, said about Parking for Hope.

The usual parking rates apply during the eight days of the program, and people are encouraged that their coins are going to support others in the community.

"I think it's great that someone's put the energy into a project like this and being able to give back through such a simple thing as paying through a meter, that's awesome," said Rocco Carrino, a resident of San Jose.

Since it started, Parking for Hope has raised over $144,000 for Hope Services.

Along with feeding the meters, there are other ways to give back to Hope Services, including donating money, donating used goods or volunteering for programs or services.

Let's #StartSomethingGood together.

(Source: images City of Santa Cruz Public Works Facebook )

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