South San Pizza Man spreads hope one slice at a time
SAN ANTONIO - Carlos Alderete Jr. says he wanted to spread hope to his South Side neighbors.
He's come up with a unique way of doing it.
The 21-year old wanted to appeal to both children and adults.
Days later South San Pizza Man was born.
At least once a week, 21-year old Carlos Alderete Jr. transforms into his alter ego to fight doom and gloom.
"I picked a silly kind of hero persona so that it's less strange for people," Carlos said. "They're like oh he's a super hero he gives out pizza."
He was motivated by a recent church sermon to be more charitable; even though he doesn't have much to offer himself.
"He's a hard-working kid he's a college student," mother Stacey Alderete said. "He drives a beat up car but he's giving back."
His girlfriend and little sister designed his pepperoni pizza-themed costume.
"I think it looks great, the kids love it," Carlos said.
His mother gave her blessing.
Stacey said, "As a parent seeing him in the pizza suit I couldn't help but to laugh but I also had tears in my eyes because to know that my kid has that heart and he's following it it's an amazing feeling."
Together they set out in his modest car, to pick up boxes of smiles.
Staffers at a South Side pizzeria have come to know him by name.
So has much of the community.
"The kids get really excited even the neighbors when they see him get out of the car," Stacey said.
"I mean the kids love it," Carlos added. "They see my costume and say Pizza Man, Pizza Man.”
We watched the delivery to another unsuspecting yet appreciative family.
"It makes me feel great," Carlos said. "It makes me feel like what I'm doing actually means something to people."
He's developed a following on social media with #ASliceOfHope4SA.
Complete strangers are now donating to cover expenses.
"It just goes to show that if you put good out there, good will come back to you," Carlos said.
"These are people who he's never met and for perfect strangers to follow along with what he's doing," Stacey said. "As a mother I couldn't be any more proud."