Catherine Ross, NBC 5 Collin County Reporter
After deciding he wanted to help kids in need, one Plano kindergartner is making a big contribution to the police department's annual Christmas Cops gift drive.
A Plano kindergartner is making a big contribution to the police department's annual Christmas Cops gift drive.
Pari Kuechenmeister said she was blown away when her son announced he'd like to raise money to collect toys for kids in need.
"It was all his idea," she said. "He said, 'I saw that they're collecting toys for kids, and I want to do what I can to help.'"
Six-year-old Alex had an idea for a cold-weather twist on a traditional fundraising technique, and the Kuechenmeister family set up a hot chocolate station near their home.
They live in Deerfield, a Plano neighborhood famous for over-the-top decorations that draws huge holiday crowds of gawkers.
Their hot chocolate stand paid off in a big way -- to the tune of more than $500.
"The amount of money he's raised would be amazing, no matter who it came from, a corporation or individual donation," said Christmas Cops organizer and former Plano Capt. Harry Manning.
"Coming from someone of his age just makes it that much more special," he added.
Alex even took it one step further, calling the department to ask which items were most needed or highly requested, Manning said.
The 6-year-old ended up bringing in some big ticket items, such as a bicycle and video games.
His parents say they've always tried to instill the gift of giving in their children, and Alex's take on Christmas is refreshingly uncomplicated.
"I wanted to give presents to kids in need," he said.
Manning said the boy's donation will pay it forward more than many can understand.
"He's the best little elf ever," he said.
Christmas Cops helps 200 families, including 600 to 700 children.
Plano police will pass out the collected boxes and gifts on Saturday.