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      Springfield uses 'giving meters' for charity

      The "giving meters" are repurposed parking meters that have been decorated by local artists.

      Downtown Springfield has five newly decorated parking meters that are intended to benefit the homeless and cut down on panhandling.

      The "giving meters" are repurposed parking meters that have been decorated by local artists. Nine more meters will be added in the downtown area in coming weeks, bringing the total to 14.

      The Springfield News-Leader reported that the meters collected $95.76 their first week in operation.

      Chris Ball, chairman of the Downtown Community Improvement District, said money from the meters goes into an account at the Community Foundation of the Ozarks, which works to identify services for people in need. He said they're also intended as a way to cut down on panhandling in the area.