Blue parking meters have started to pop up in downtown London. They look just like regular parking meters except instead of providing a spot for your car, they provide a chance to donate to charity.
Known as Kindness Meters, the charitable machines are the result of a two year process that Londoner, Lincoln McCardle, went through to have them installed.
After seeing a similar concept while travelling in Ottawa with his family, McCardle’s wife immediately asked as to why there no such meters in London. Shortly after, McCardle went to work by sending out a flurry of emails to see who would be on board with the idea.
However, it wasn’t until just last week that the Kindness Meters found a home in London. As for why there was such a delay, McCardle says “it was always a case where it was progressing, just really slowly.”
McCardle had to jump through a number of hoops to see the project completed, including buying parking meters, finding spots for the meters, and figuring out a way to the distribute collected funds. But McCardle wasn’t alone, Downtown London joined his side and the idea behind the meters led to success in Ward 13 Decides, a contest that helps winners develop their community-driven projects.
“It’s raising additional funds”
As for how people should spend their loose change, McCardle doesn’t want the meters to compete with other charitable acts such giving money to panhandlers or making donations to charity. Rather, he wants the message for the meters to be that “it’s raising additional funds.”
Funds raised from the meters will be collected by The Salvation Army to be later distributed to local charities. London currently has meters posted in Ivey, Mitchell A. Baran, Piccadilly, Victoria, and West Lions Parks.
More updates on the Kindness Meters can be found on its dedicated Facebook page.