IMMOKALEE, Fla. — The ornaments on David Turrubiartez’s Christmas tree tells a story — his family’s story. That story, shown on ornaments, has a few of his kids in school, their love of the show The Office and a special memory.
"My wife who passed away last Thanksgiving, we have a little ornament there for her," he said.
David is now raising his two boys. Over the summer, they moved into their first home, a brand new one too, with wheelchair access for David. The Immokalee Foundation built the home in their Learning Lab neighborhood.
The Immokalee Foundation prepares Immokalee students for the work force in several different fields, one of them construction. Students in the program worked alongside BCB Homes as they got hands-on learning experience.
Turrubiartez joined The Immokalee Foundation program when he was in high school.
"It's already been a full circle from initially joining the foundation in 2009," he said.
That's when the foundation's CEO, Noemi Perez, first met Turrubiartez.
"He's been faced with many challenges. His path has been very different," Perez said.
Perez said since she's known David, he's always wanted to stay in the Immokalee community.
"They wanted to come back to this community. They wanted to give back. They wanted to be a part of it," Perez said.
Now, Turrubiartez will raise his boys here and decorate their home for the holidays for the very first time.
"We're really excited to have our first Christmas here. We're trying to figure out though where Santa Claus is going to come in at," Turrubiartez said.
In their new home they’re making new traditions and memories.
The boys found a snow globe with the year they moved in, and they plan to buy one each Christmas spent in their new home.
All while still keeping special memories of their mom front and center.
"This is our first time to be in our forever home and begin those memories carrying with this home," Turrubiartez said.