Florida A&M University is offering to forgive parking fines for students, faculty, staff and visitors in exchange for gift cards for South Side kids.
The program gives people who owe $100 or less in tickets a chance to wipe out their debt by bringing in a $50 dollar gift card. The card amount goes up the higher the debt. But instead of paying tickets, FAMU Police Chief Terence Calloway says offenders get the chance to have their money go to support gifts for children for the holidays.
“We don’t pick them, the community the teachers who see these kids every day, the social workers and the recreation workers who see these kids every day are the ones that identify these kids for us," he says.
This year FAMU’s parking services is working with Bond Elementary School and nearby recreation centers. It’s the third year the program has been in effect and Calloway says even if a person doesn’t have a ticket, they can still give.
“So it’s $50 [gift card] for $100 or less [in fines], between $100-199 dollars we’ll take $100 off. The higher it gets the higher the amount we’ll take off.”
Last year FAMU was able to fulfill the wish lists of eight students at Nims Middle School getting everything the kids asked for.