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Texas Man Brings Christmas to Children’s Home for 37 Years

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santa-hugMany of the children are wards of the state whose parents have had their parental rights terminated. And many of these children have little to no experience with Christmas. When Placke heard about the place, he looked back on his promise long ago to help kids with no Christmas and knew what he needed to do. And so, Placke began bringing Christmas to the kids of New Horizons.

At first, the mission began with just Placke and his wife, Caren. But over time, the couple who reside in Flower Mound, Texas began to get their whole community involved. Today, Placke raises about $100 thousand dollars a year for the children’s center purely through word of mouth donations. The Flower Mound high school is even involved. The football team, other school organizations, the churches in the community, families, and individuals all from the Flower Mound area sponsor a child or buy items from 29 different wish lists covering every aspect of the treatment center – the school, the horse program, and the children’s homes and support facilities like the kitchen and canteen. “I’ve got a guy who donates ten thousand dollars each year, another person who gives $25 thousand a year, and a guy who buys mattresses every year. It’s gotten a lot bigger than me,” Placke says.

5Each year, Placke takes four busloads full of volunteers and donors to the one day party. In addition to the people, two 24-foot trailers loaded with gifts and necessities for the homes and school make up the entourage. Over the years, Placke’s group has donated a Polaris, washers and dryers, pillows, blankets, and linens. They give out about 20 to 30 bikes each year.

Each child creates a wishlist and individuals or groups “adopt” that child and buy gifts from the wish list. Items include clothing, toys, games, and books. Placke says that folks start hounding him for their kids for the next year by mid-January.