Now through Dec. 5 The University of Texas-Pan American Police Department will be trading parking tickets for new and unwrapped toys of at least a $10 value.
Melissa Sandoval, UTPA parking services manager, is encouraging all individuals in the University community who have received parking tickets for a violation, other than parking in a handicap space, in a fire lane or an expired meter, to bring in new and unwrapped toys to the Police Department to have their tickets voided. During this time only one ticket will be removed per person upon the donation of a toy.
The toys collected by the UTPA Police Department will be donated to the 14th Annual Adopt-An-Angel Program, which provides gifts for children of UTPA students who are receiving need-based financial aid. The Office of Student Life and Transition Services sponsors the annual event to be held on Dec. 14 at the Health and Physical Education Building II.
According to Sandoval, the collaboration between the department and Adopt-An-Angel Program began last year and 180 toys were collected as well as tickets voided. Gifts and clothes that are donated without a parking ticket exchange may be dropped off at the Office of Student Life and Transition Services or at the UTPA Police Department. Toy and clothes are preferred for the ages of 0-3 or 10-18 years old.
"While our goal is to collect toys for less fortunate children, we hope to promote the University Police Department in a positive light. We're not just here to give tickets as it's often alleged; the Adopt-An-Angel ticket trade program is just another valued service that we are proud to be a part of," Sandoval said.
For more information or to donate a toy, call the UTPA Police Department at 956/381-2739.