Pancho Claus raising money to buy toys for Houston and Rio Grande Valley Kids

HOUSTON—This year for the first time in almost four decades the Houston holiday favorite known as Pancho Claus didn't come through the HEB Thanksgiving Day Parade.

"Santa for whatever reason can't go to every part of the community so we fill that void," said Richard Reyes, known as Pancho Claus. "The parade is a disappointment, It's one of the highlights of the year."

The City of Houston said Reyes didn't file the proper paperwork to participate but Reyes said Pancho Claus has never been respected by the parade.

"They haven't sent me an application in years, so how am I going to turn in papers, said Reyes."

Now he's on a new route. Down on sponsors Reyes is using a Gofundme campaign to raise money to buy toys for his annual Christmas toy drive.

This year Pancho Claus is expanding out of Houston and distributing toys to children in the Rio Grande Valley as well.

"They just literally have nothing to open up on Christmas eve or Christmas day and at least we can bring a little smile to their face," said Reyes.

He'll also be in the Heights on Friday and Saturday at the George R. Brown raising money and collecting toys.

Christmas toys for Christmas smiles.