Thanks to a new program launched this year, hundreds of Revere children will receive Christmas gifts

REVERE — More than 250 toys will be given to children in Revere thanks to an amnesty program that allowed parking offenders to pay off debts with a toy donation.

“It’s gratifying to see people respond to the opportunity to turn one of life’s little annoyances, such as a parking ticket, into an act of kindness for a child,” said Mayor Brian Arrigo.

The program, which allowed parking scofflaws the chance to make things right and do a good deed at the same time, allowed a toy donation to clear up pending and overdue fines and bring happiness to a child who might otherwise have a dismal holiday.

People who owed fines and fees for past unpaid parking violations had until Dec. 21 to donate an unused toy, similar in value to the ticket cost, to the city’s Parking Department. The toys will be given to needy children enrolled in the Revere Public School system, according to Arrigo. Charges of $30 per individual ticket were waived for each toy donated, up to five tickets.

Amnesty programs have been successful in clearing up long-standing debts owed to communities across the country, said Arrigo.

The city issued more than 28,500 tickets this year, according to a spokesperson from Arrigo’s office.

The toys were distributed to needy families and children in the school system before the children left for holiday break.

Because of the program’s success, Arrigo said he would like to expand it.

“We hope that in the future this program can be expanded,” said Arrigo. “We found that many people donated to this program even if they didn’t have a violation, so we see this as a chance to spread holiday spirit to many of our city’s children.”

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