Eleven-year-old Jaxson Turner is making headlines over his decision to forego a visit from Santa Claus this year, in order to redirect his would-be presents to kids less fortunate. He's rallied his hometown of Plano, Texas, to join in him providing gifts to homeless children in their community because, he says, "This year, my Christmas wish is to help others who are in need."
What are the details?
"Santa would always give me everything on my Christmas list," Jaxson explained to KTVT-TV. But this year, he says the kids at Samaritan Inn in McKinney are "in need more than us, and their parents can't afford to be able to have a Christmas, and I don't want them to suffer."
Thanks to Jaxson's efforts, all 53 kids at the shelter will receive a toy donated by the Plano Police Department, and a pair of shoes from Famous Footwear. Jaxson is also scrambling to raise enough money to buy coats for all of the kids, but his planned Christmas party at Samaritan Inn is scheduled for Saturday.
In the GoFundMe page dedicated to his efforts, Jaxson writes, "I know that Christmas is about celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ, which we will do, but it never hurts to add some smiles to those who are homeless and less fortunate as we spread smiles & love."
As of this writing, the campaign has raised $5,541 of its $5,000 goal.
Jaxson further explained to KTVT, "God likes whenever you help each other, and I just want to make God proud."
He added, "The only thing I want is to be able to help and see the smiles on their faces, and that's the best Christmas gift I can ever receive."
There are anywhere from 400,000 to 2 million homeless youths in the U.S. according to a recent documentary, "Lost in America." According to reports, 40 to 50 percent of those kids are products of the foster care system.
In truth, no one knows for sure what the statistics are, according to Governing magazine.
A 2015 report from the publication notes that Housing and Urban Development estimates homelessness counts based on the number of people who occupy shelters in the winter months, but acknowledges that "younger people are more likely to steer clear of shelters," and often "become homeless because they're trying to avoid police or the foster care system."