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At Your Service: Toys for Tickets

A parking ticket can be a good thing. Wait ... what?

No, the city is not trying to encourage you to incur more parking tickets. If you do receive one before the last day of the month, however, you can make up for it with a child's toy instead.

Since 2009, the Toys for Tickets campaign has been a festive highlight of every parking scofflaw's holiday season. For a two-week period every November, a parking ticket can be paid off with a new, unwrapped toy that is age appropriate (newborn to 16 years), still in its original packaging, and valued at $25 or more (a receipt must be attached as proof) at the St. Albert RCMP Detachment, 96 Bellerose Dr. If there's a way to make both you and municipal enforcement officers smile, this is it.

The toys will be donated to the Fill-A-Bus campaign led by St. Albert Transit and Diversified Transportation, as part of the St. Albert Kinettes’ Christmas Hamper Campaign. Last year, the campaign netted 55 toys valued at more than $1,300, which included toy donations from residents who did not receive a parking ticket but who still wanted to take part in the program.

Campaign for childhood survivors of sexual abuse

The province's main organization working for the awareness, prevention, and treatment of child sexual abuse launched its annual fall campaign on Thursday, Nov. 18.

Little Warriors launched its annual awareness campaign on social media with a message from its clinical director Dr. Wanda Polzin Holman, who was joined by therapy dog Rugby for the event. While the main message was about bringing awareness to childhood sexual abuse, part of the message included ways the general public can offer support.

"We want to bring awareness to the fact that although this has a devastating impact that it has for children, youth, and families, that there is hope, and we know that children in youth and families are resilient if they have the proper treatment and interventions," she said, noting that clinicians' interventions and intensive treatments at the Be Brave Ranch are able to produce amazing results in reducing PTSD, anxiety, and depression.

The campaign announcement included statistics produced through the organization’s research and scientific council. It stated that one in three girls and one in six boys experience childhood sexual abuse and that 95 per cent of child sexual abuse survivors know and trust their perpetrators — 95 per cent is also the ratio of child sexual abuse that goes unreported.

"We want to ensure you that through treatment and proper resources and support through the work that we do at Little Warriors and the Be Brave Ranch, there's hope and resiliency and healing. Even though children are victims of child sexual abuse, there can be change, hope, and wellness for them moving forward."

People can offer their support by visiting littlewarriors.ca/donate. The campaign message also highlighted how next Tuesday, Nov. 30 is Giving Tuesday. The message mentioned how people can make monetary donations, donate items and supplies, host donation drives, donate bottles, and purchase founder Glori Meldrum’s Warrior book as gifts for others or yourself. The organization has also teamed up with the Edmonton Oilers for a 50/50 draw and a ticket raffle.

'Purses Filled with Love' not just a metaphor

Darlene Gauthier would be proud. Although the founder of Purses Filled with Love passed away before last year's campaign could start, it's still going strong. Gauthier started the effort as a way of helping women who need a hand up in the form of purses filled with clothes, masks, gift cards, and — yes — love.

The campaign is now in its sixth year. Organizers are requesting "everything you would like to find in a purse" including winter wear, personal hygiene items, and purses. The year before she died, Gauthier handed out about 500 purses to women in need in Edmonton.

For more information, contact Purses Filled with Love by calling 780-974-4743, sending an email to [email protected], or visiting its page on social media. Search for 'Purses Filled with Love' on Facebook. Donations can be dropped off at Trinity Funeral Home, 10530 116 St. in Edmonton. It's open seven days a week between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m.


Scott Hayes

About the Author: Scott Hayes

Scott Hayes joined the St. Albert Gazette in 2008. Scott writes about the arts, entertainment, movies, culture, community groups, and charities. He also writes general news, features, columns, and profiles on people.
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