The City of Red Deer donated 56 toys worth $3,800 to the Red Deer Christmas Bureau from the 2022 Toys for Tickets campaign. (Advocate file photo)

The City of Red Deer donated 56 toys worth $3,800 to the Red Deer Christmas Bureau from the 2022 Toys for Tickets campaign. (Advocate file photo)

Fewer toys donated as Red Deer’s 2022 Toys for Tickets campaign returns to original format

The 2022 Toys for Tickets campaign wrapped up in Red Deer with $3,800 worth of donations to the Red Deer Christmas Bureau.

Instead of paying parking fines for the month of November, Red Deer motorists could opt to purchase a new, packaged toy worth the same value as the ticket they received.

As a result, 56 toys, with receipts, were turned over to the City of Red Deer, said Amy Fengstad, acting manager of inspections and licensing.

While this is fewer toys than were collected before the pandemic, when the total value was about $6,30o, Fengstad noted 2022 is the first year the Toys for Tickets program is back to its usual format.

Over the pandemic, the City of Red Deer was not collecting toys from motorists, but was instead donating a portion of the parking fines paid to the Christmas Bureau in order to reduce personal contacts and viral transmissions.

Now that toys are once again accepted by the city from Nov. 1 to 30, “I think it’s great to see people coming back in to support the program,” said Fengstad.

She hopes to see toy donations grow next year as people become accustomed to the program’s original format.

The 2022 toy contributions were loaded into the city’s lit-up Santa Bus and were driven over to the Christmas Bureau on Dec. 6 to try to ensure that no child wakes up without a toy on Christmas morning.

The Red Deer Christmas Bureau is assisting families who are concerned about finances and could use some help with gifts over the Christmas season.

The City of Red Deer’s decorated Santa Bus will be cruising around Red Deer neighbourhoods again to spread cheer for the last time this season on Friday and Saturday. For a schedule, please visit www.reddeer.ca.

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