Be Excellent: Luis Calderon

Updated: Feb. 15, 2023 at 6:00 PM CST
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ODESSA, Texas (KOSA) - On a frigid Friday morning at the Bethlehem House of Bread Food Pantry in Odessa, hundreds of vehicles line up.

Each of them arrives for a helping hand with groceries. The team here works like a well-oiled machine, getting each person what they need in a timely manner.

But a big part of this machine is Luis Calderon, who manages the parking lot. As each vehicle arrives, Luis helps them get in line and get the help they need.

“I help others, and I like to help the people,” said Calderon, a volunteer.

Luis greets each person with the smiling face that he’s become known for.

“Just seeing people smile. He’s always been one to joke around or do whatever he can to have somebody happy and be able to help,” said Eduardo Calderon, Luis’ Son.

His smile was big enough to warm everyone’s hearts on this cold day. Helping others is always Luis’ priority, even when asked if the cold is too much to bare.

“No, I’m feeling good!” exclaimed Luis.

The Director of the food pantry, JoAnn Davenport Littleton is not surprised.

“If it’s 24 degrees, if it’s raining, if it’s snowing, Luis is going to be here, and I love it. You talk about committed, he’s committed,” said Davenport Littleton.

Luis explained that he was called to help here due to the growing need in our community.

“A lot of people, sometimes maybe 200 cars, 150,” said Calderon.

His son also explained that growing up, Luis emphasized serving others and counting their blessings.

“Because he’s always been one that likes to give back. He’s happy about what he’s received and what he’s been able to give us.

That’s why he gives his time to be able to give a little bit of happiness to everyone,” said Eduardo Calderon.

His example has now been passed down not only to his children but also to his grandchildren. Even outside of the food pantry, Luis always lends a helping hand.

“On the streets and everywhere, I see that people need help, I help the people,” said Calderon.

His selfless calling is admired not only by those he’s helped but by his fellow volunteers.

“He loves people. In order to give you’ve got to love. He’s a people person,” said Davenport Littleton.

In the end, Luis wants the community to know he’s here for them.

“If somebody needs help, we’ll be here with arms open,” said Luis Calderon.