“Our home is filled with 21 years of love and memories. Still today, we’re so grateful to all the people who came together to help make our dreams come true!” – Irma Parga
Pedro Parga has always done everything he could to provide a better life for his family. Working in construction for many years, he helped build Fort Worth into what it is today. He was a part of building the I-35 mix master, several local schools, the Texas Motor Speedway, and Bass Hall. He even was a part of setting in place the iconic Bass Hall angels.
Despite their hard work, Pedro and Irma weren’t able to afford a safe, healthy home for their two young boys. In the winter, they’d all sleep together in their apartment’s single bedroom because it had the best insulation. Then in the hot summers, they’d all move to the living room to be near the window A/C unit.
The boys and Irma still laugh thinking back to one night when they were awakened by their dad screaming. He’d been bitten on the toe by a rat. For Irma, the laughs turned to tears as she connected back to how horrible the situation really was. The apartment was infested with rats and roaches, and the landlord wouldn’t do anything about it.
As awful as that was, what Pedro and Irma worried about most was the safety of their young boys. At the apartment complex there was a drug problem, fights would break out, and thefts were prevalent. The two of them dreamed of raising their boys in a better environment, but this is all they could afford.
In 1996, Pedro and Irma’s dream came true when they were approved to purchased a Habitat home. They loved working alongside the Habitat volunteers helping build their neighbors’ homes and their own. Despite being afraid of heights, Irma was so excited to be working on her own home, she’d even work up in the rafters.
Life in their Habitat home has been even better than they could have imagined. The family lives in a quiet neighborhood south of downtown Fort Worth. Irma would walk the boys to school and they would play football in the streets with their friends. The terrible situation at the apartment complex became a distant memory.
Pedro and Michael are a true testament to what a stable, affordable Habitat home can do for children. They both recognize and are so grateful for the support their family received. Because of that support, they’ve both been inspired to pursue careers where they can give back and help make their community a better place.
Pedro graduated from the University of Texas at Arlington and is now working in the accounting department at a local nonprofit. He loves that he’s a part of helping local individuals in need of medical services get support they can afford. Michael is is following in his brother’s footsteps and is in his senior year at UTA studying business administration.
The Pargas are so grateful to the many volunteers and donors who came together to help them get out of a bad situation. Many of them have probably forgotten what they did 21 years ago, but their support continues to make a world of difference for the Parga family.