Motorists in Red Deer can play Santa for a needy child by donating a toy as payment for their parking ticket.

Next month, the city will be accepting toys instead of cash for tickets issued between Nov. 1 and Dec. 6.

Last year, over 400 toys were collected through the Toys for Tickets campaign and donated to the Red Deer Christmas Bureau.

“I mean nobody likes getting a ticket, but with this program you can give back to the community and still pay for your ticket at the same time,”  said Fred Dieno, parking coordinator for the City of Red Deer.

Over 4,000 toys have been collected since the program started seven years ago.

“It just keeps getting bigger and bigger,” said Teresa Kutynec from the Christmas Bureau.

“That's good for us.  Maybe not so good for the people who are getting the tickets.”

 Toys will be accepted at Red Deer city hall on Dec. 5 and 6 from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

The cost of the toy must equal or exceed the amount of the ticket. All items must be new, unwrapped and in their original packaging.

They also must be appropriate for kids between the ages of eight and 16.