By: Melina Matthes
OMAHA (kptm) - The holiday season is all about giving and one Omaha man is helping children with life threatening illnesses, but how he's doing it is with a classical Christmas tradition.
Fox 42 News takes you to "Christmas on U Street."
36,000 lights and over 60 displays is what it takes to turn a house into "Christmas On U Street" and it's all to help the Make-A-Wish foundation.
5 years ago Richard Lammers had an idea. To not just decorate his house for Christmas, but to make a show of it and it's so bright you can even see it from hundreds of feet in the air. "I've always wanted to see what my display looks like from the sky."
But even on the ground, "Christmas On U Street" is a vision people flock to see. "After my first year I started noticing a lot of people who come watch the display and had a few people offer donations to make the display bigger," Lammers said.
Each year the display grows, even into neighboring yards and it's all for a reason. The donations go to Make-A-Wish. "I found it'd probably be better just to give it to charity and Make-A-Wish is kind of close to me. I've worked with some of the kids as a volunteer and just became a connection."
He said every night dozens of people stop by to watch the display, many give donations, but he says he was shocked when he found a handwritten letter inside. "The letter just basically was like thank you for doing this for Make-A-Wish but also my daughter Lily got her Make-A-Wish trip to Disney and it was people like him that reached out and gets donors and get donations to make these wishes possible," mother Susie Dotson said.
Wishes for children like Lily Dotson. A 7-year-old who has been fighting cancer for 2 and a half years. "It almost brought me to tears just reading the letter," Lammers said.
When the Dotson family saw the house they couldn't believe their eyes. "I mean anyone can put up lights but for someone to do this for an amazing cause just brings it to another level," Dotson said.
The reason for the season, whether it's a dime, a quarter or even a dollar, Dotson encourages others to stop by "Christmas On U Street" and put something in the donation box. "It's just one of those where it makes dreams come true and for children fighting cancer or children with life threatening illnesses it's priceless you can't, you can not put money on it what it does to the spirit how it helps the entire family just being able to just actually look forward to something when its such a difficult time," Dotson said.
Lammers said he's already collected $250 but he hopes to gain enough to grant a wish for a child this holiday season.
"Christmas On U Street" is located at 193rd and "U" in the Arbor Gate neighborhood.
It will run through January 5th. To visit his Facebook page, visit https://www.facebook.com/pages/christmas-on-u-street/195911191805?fref=ts
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