EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – There’s a good chance if you’ve lived in El Paso for a while that Angel Gomez has helped you or someone you know.

And with his trademark Hawaiian shirt and large hat, he’s a very recognizable figure in town.

“Of course, people recognize me with my hat and stuff,” he said. “And they say, ‘Hey, Mr. Gomez or hey, Angel!'”

But Gomez, the co-founder of the non-profit known as Operation H.O.P.E., hasn’t worked this hard during his career for the personal recognition.

Operation H.O.P.E. has been a source of aid for El Pasoans dealing with any number of situations over the years. They’ve provided school supplies to kids, food for first responders at cookouts, caskets to grieving families in Uvalde, support for those struggling during the COVID pandemic, and just about anything necessary to help people through tough times.

After all, “H.O.P.E.” stands for “Helping other people endure.” It’s a motto for the organization and one that Angel himself has lived by over the years.

Up next for the organization is their annual backpack giveaway on Saturday, July 30th starting at 10 a.m. They’ll be giving away 800-900 backpacks full of school supplies at the Rock Faith Center at 11201 Armour Drive.

And they’ve come a long way since the early days of the backpack drive when they were only able to help a few families.

“Brother, when we started back in the day, we started with 25 backpacks,” said Gomez. “And to me that was like, man, we did good, we did good.”

But Gomez says it’s almost time for him to pass the torch on to a new leader – his daughter, Rubi.

“You’re the very first ones to hear that, but I think this Christmas will be the last event that I’ll participate in, and she’ll take over,” he said.

If it is indeed time for Gomez to retire, he knows the organization will be in good hands since his daughter has been involved since she was just a few years old.

“My daughter is everything to me to be honest,” said Gomez. “She’s my friend. She’s my partner in business. We get in trouble together. But I love my daughter, and I know she’ll continue when I’ve stepped down.”