Monday, November 20, 2006

Free parking

Getting ready to head back east for Thanksgiving with the family, I noted with interest this story in the Baltimore Sun. As old parking meters are gradually replaced with new hi-tech ones, the city's downtown partnership is putting the obsolescence to a good and charitable use. The "Make a Change" program allows you to donate to homeless services by feeding the repurposed meters. Instead of precious parking minutes, however:

When someone drops a nickel, dime or quarter into one of the "Make a Change" meters, a pointer on the dial slowly shifts from "despair" to "hope." You don't get any more hope for a quarter than a nickel and to ward off despair, someone would have to stand at the machine forever with a bottomless bag of change.

A nice sentiment for the holiday, even if it is kind of a made-up one and our forefathers mostly exterminated the native Americans with whom the harvest festival was purportedly begun. Thankfully, this year there will be no hungry Americans around the dinner table (just some with lower food security than others). We are truly blessed.


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