PLANO, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) – Speeders, red light runners and other traffic scofflaws are making the holidays brighter for needy families in Plano.
Thousands of dollars worth of gift cards along with piles and stacks of toys, diapers and pet food have been filling up Judge Chuck Ruckel’s Plano office since last month.
“Today it’s stacked as deep as you can get,” he said. “It brings joy to everybody’s heart.”
The Collin County Justice of the Peace officiates weddings and presides over a courtroom for minor offenses.
During the holidays, he gave people facing fines a choice to cut the amount owed in half if they agreed to donate to needy families.
“It’s an opportunity for us all to do something good. We need some more good in the world,” said Judge Ruckel.
What the judge and his staff found was that nearly everyone took the deal, but surprised them with they brought back to the courthouse.
“A lot of times they buy more than what they really have to do,” said Judge Ruckel. “They say, ‘well I was gonna buy for the needy anyway or provide for some kind of charity’ so they bring in more than they have to.”
In fact, they brought in so much it took several trucks to haul it away so it can be distributed through the Plano Police Department’s Christmas Cops program.
“We’re not a profit center we are not trying to make money off the public we are trying to do justice and to me this is justice an opportunity to serve your fellow man and feel good about it,” said Judge Ruckel.