A proposed Elkhart City Council ordinance has some non-profits concerned.
The ordinance would have banned groups from trying to get donations at busy intersections, but after hearing from the public and local businesses, city council members decided to amend the ordinance to not include sign wavers.
So for now, sign waving is OK. However, the ordinance does address the way "stop light fundraisers" are held.
Dan Penney volunteers for Elkhart County Special Olympics. Twice a year, volunteers raise money by asking for donations near busy intersections.
"We have made as much as $6,000 in one day," said Penney.
Special Olympics volunteers have solicited donations from drivers passing by at the intersection of County Road 17 and Highway 120. They're never actually in the streets, but other non-profits are. That could change with a new ordinance.
"It's not worth it if somebody gets hurt," said Elkhart City Councilman David Osborne.
The ordinance would allow people to get donations from sidewalks and street corners, but they wouldn't be allowed to stand between lanes of traffic and in medians.
"They actually run over to the side of the intersection to get more candy or handouts and they run back, and then they're running up and down between the automobiles backed up in traffic," said Osborne.
City Councilman Ron Troyer says non-profits will just have to find another way to raise money.
"People are willing in this area to really pour out their hearts and the change in their pockets to help these groups," said Troyer.
Penny says he agrees with the ordinance.
"The possibility of being struck by a car is just too high," he said.
The Public Health and Safety Committee of Elkhart's Common Council will take up ordinance Monday at 6:30. It'll then go to city council at 7 where it's expected to be amended and voted on. If passed, it would go into effect in about a month.
Osborne said he's never heard of "stop light fundraising" causing accidents in Elkhart and that this is a preventative measure.