The Arrona Family is made up of Salvadro, Deborah and Aria. Salvadro is a Skilled Plumber Apprentice in the Maintenance Department of Pasadena Independent School District. Deborah is a wrok-from-home mom, who works as an Avon Independent Sales Representative. They have a seven year-old daughter, Aria.
The Arrona’s heard about Habitat for Humanity in general, but they did not know, or understand the scope of the homeownership program. In January 2011, Salvador’s cousin-in-law, Desire’e Jenkins, e-mailed Deborah information about a Homeownership Information Meeting Bay Area Habitat for Humanity was having at the La Porte Neighborhood Center. Salvador, Deborah, and Aria went to this meeting and received a full application after a short interview at the conclusion of the meeting. This full application was completed and submitted to Bay Area Habitat for Humanity in February.
In March, Bay Area Habitat for Humanity called Salvador to let him know that the Arrona family had been approved for a wheelchair accessible home to be built in La Porte, Texas. Deborah and Aria happened to be in the room when this phone call (that they had all been waiting for) was received. They could tell by the look on Salvador’s face that it was good news. Once Salvador confirmed what Deborah was thinking, everyone screamed with greaty joy! Salvador danced with Aria in her wheelchair, and Deborah started calling, texting and emailing everyone she could think of to share the good news. After the sigh of relief, as their lifelong dream, since they’ve been married, was finally becoming a reality.
The Arrona family currently lives in a two-bedroom, one-bathroom apartment in Pasadena, Texas. The conditions are not dire, but considering the multiple special need that their daughter, Aria, lives with on a daily basis, their apartment is not sufficient. Aria, as a result of a micro-preemie birth, lives with spastic cerebral palsy, cortical visual impairment, epilepsy, and is fed through a feeding tube – just to name a few. Her multiple special needs require the use of durable medical equipment (such as a wheelchair, stander, and suction machine) and supplies (such as syringes, formula, and diapers) for her care. All of these items take up a lot of space in the family apartment, leaving little room for Aria to get around in her wheelchair. For access to the bedrooms, bathroom and kitchen, Aria must be carried because her wheelchair will not fit through the small hallways and door openings. This will become more difficult as Aria becomes older and larger. The sidewalks at the family’s apartment complex are not wheelchair friendly, and Aria’s wheelchair can barely fit through the entry way. Other issues their apartment has are persistent plumbing problems, drafts from the bedroom windows, and water damage caused by Hurrican Ike that has yet to be corrected. Having a brand new, wheelchair accessible home will eliminate and improve all of these issues.
Salvador and Deborah honestly believe that only good and positive changes can come from moving into their new Habitat home. Their new home will provide more space, security, stability and independence for Aria and the multiple special needs she lives with daily.
If the Arrona family could say one thing to the donors and volunteers working on their home, it would be, “Thank You!” Thank you for helping them realize their dream of homeownership. Thank you for giving them an opportunity to become part of a great community they have always desired. Thank you, above all else, for helping them make a home that will honestly be Aria’s best chance to freely grow and flourish in a way she has not been able to before. Thank you for all you have done and do for families like them.