HOUSTON (FOX 26) — Pancho Claus has once again put on his red zoot suit and taken to the streets of Houston’s historic East End. He has been a staple in the community for 38 years, passing through the streets in a 1976 Cadillac El Dorado with an entourage of low riders and first responders behind him. He explains that this Christmas tradition started small and out of necessity and grew into an even greater labor of love.
"Five years into it, my community started believing I was Pancho Claus and started telling me all these challenging stories families were facing," said Pancho Claus. "Me and a few friends visited a few families and it's grown to this monster that we have today."
With help from other organizations, Pancho Claus distributes around 10,000 toys during the month of December. He and his crew are loaded down with around 2,000 gifts on Christmas Day alone.
"There's a lot of smiles, but I like watching the parents and the grandparents because you never know who's got presents for Christmas or not and you see a relief on their face,” said Pancho Claus. “There are always people [volunteers] who come out here to make sure as many kids as we can get are covered.”