The Houston, Texas man first played the Hispanic version of Santa Claus in a play and wanted to give the role personality. He performed a poem and replaced the iconic red suit and reindeer with a zoot suit and lowrider cars.
Reyes continued to play Pancho Claus year after year and would visit a few dozen families every holiday season to deliver gifts and cheer. But he has become a Houston icon with the role for nearly four decades.
He now hands out more than 10,000 gifts to kids in need each year. He also gives back year-round in the community.
Reyes has battled his own obstacles in finding the Christmas spirit. He has suffered three heart attacks and lost a home to flooding. But he always finds the joy in life and will do whatever it takes to help someone else.