“Your change can make change” — Decorated parking meters raise money for American Heart Association

Lee Williams (ABC Columbia)
April 18, 2024

Apr 18, 2024 6:19 PM EDT 
Lee Williams (ABC Columbia)

Derick Corbett, Senior Vice President for Pull-A-Part stated, “Pull-A-Part loves this initiative, and we love playing a small role in its success. A quarter doesn’t seem like a lot until you pair with 10,000. All the sudden your quarter has saved a life. Our appreciation goes out to out the City of Columbia for leading the way in the fight against heart disease. We can’t wait to do it again next year.”

COLUMBIA, SC (WOLO) — The next time you park in Five Points, the Vista, or on Main Street, you may notice a personalized parking meter.

It’s all a part of an initiative with the American Heart Association with officials saying, “Your change can make change.”

George Floyd, Business Liaison with the City of Columbia’s Parking Services, says a total of 15 businesses across the city have donated $500 to the nonprofit, and are sponsoring a meter.

“It’s amazing how many people have been directly touched by heart disease and have a story to tell. They felt like this was a great way to give back and do something fun. Some of the organizations, businesses did it themselves, and had their creative minds put together and did something cool. Others, not feeling the creative juices, solicited some local artists who stepped up and did some amazing work,” says Floyd.

All of the change received by the colorful meters goes directly to the American Heart Association in an effort to raise money and awareness for heart health.

“I love the idea of the parking meters, and I’m so excited the City of Columbia has this initiative going. It’s super creative,” says Maranda Williams, Marketing Communications Director with the American Heart Association of South Carolina.

Williams says they’re celebrating their 100th anniversary, and 20 years of their “Go Red” campaign.

“We want people to know that there are ways, most heart disease is actually preventable. I’m actually a survivor myself and I can tell you from personal experience, going through a situation where you are unsure of your heart health and are trying to get healthier, it’s a longer road. If you start out being much healthier earlier, it’s not that hard of a transition. But, we want people to know it’s important to have that 30 minutes of exercise, and eat fruits and vegetables everyday. And it’s important also to spread that message to your friends, family, and coworkers. There’s so many people that live play work here in Columbia, and so the more we can spread that message it’s helping everybody to be able to live a longer fuller life,” Williams says.

Floyd says each sponsor will also have an American Heart Association change receptacle at their place of business for citizens to drop change into.

“So when you’re downtown or in the Vista or in Five Points, and you see one of these really cool meters, even if you’re not parked there, drop some change in to show your support. Show your appreciation for what they do. If you’re out and about and happen to see one of these sponsored businesses, tell them thank you and give them a thumbs up and a high five. They’ve really stepped up to participate and do something really cool,” he says.


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