Penticton’s kindness meter is proof that a little goes a long way, with the upcycled parking meter collecting around $1,000 in pocket change in 2019.
According to bylaw supervisor for the city Tina Siebert, the kindness meter is an initiative championed by bylaw and the Downtown Penticton Association to encourage the community to give back in a small way.
A retired parking meter out front of Penticton’s city hall has been painted and upcycled to collect change for one of the community’s nonprofit organizations.
“This year we collected about $1,000, and it’s really just people throwing in pocket change here and there. Once the funds go into the kindness meter, we deposit them and the funds get sent to 100 More Homes Penticton,” said Siebert.
Previously known as 100 Homes Penticton, according to its website 100 More Homes Penticton is “a collection of community leaders coming together to provide housing and supports to over 100 vulnerable people in Penticton.”
100 More Homes Penticton is part of the national initiative 20,000 Homes, which is organized by the Canadian Alliance to End Homelessness.
Siebert said donations were a little down this year, compared to when the kindness meter was first installed in 2016, but she has plans to better promote the campaign in 2020.
She added that this may include the addition of a second kindness meter in the city, either on the other end of town or near the boardwalk on Okanagan Lake where there is lots of foot traffic.
The meter is not meant to be a replacement for panhandling, which is permitted in certain areas of the city.
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