BAKERSFIELD, Calif. - A school teacher from Delano is the proud winner of this year’s St. Jude dream home.
The giveaway is part of the annual fundraising for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
Like many people, Gilbert Hernandez maintains a tight budget and when the $100 tickets for the St. Jude Dream Home became available, he jumped at the chance to buy one without his family knowing.
“I had my ticket. I put it under St. Jude. You can tell that the circle and then I prayed,” said Gilbert Hernandez, who is a school teacher in Delano.
Hernandez works two jobs to provide a warm meal and a roof for his family.
“It’s been a lot of years, working overtime, trying to maintain. The economy I think is picking up but it’s affected us quite a bit,” he said.
Watching television may have changed his life for forever.
“I kept on seeing Channel 23. When I finally heard, I started jumping up and down because I didn’t want to make any noise, but my son heard me,” said Hernandez.
Hernandez became the winner of the St. Jude Dream Home, a 3,300 square foot house with four bedrooms, three-and-a-half baths, a detached casita with fireplace and an exterior courtyard.
“I can’t even describe it. I’m happy. I’m excited. Part of me still doesn’t believe it’s true but it just feels like a dream. I mean it’s amazing,” said Gilbert’s son, Martin Hernandez.
The Hernadez family’s new home is located in the Talladega community in northwest Bakersfield. It’s estimated worth $500,000.
“He’s been working so hard and my mom, too just to put a roof over our head and now we just have one like this. I’m eternally grateful,” he said.
The giveaway not only provides deserving families with a dream home, but raises more than a million dollars every year for the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
“They were just so excited and he’d been praying for it and hoping for it and I think that everyone who enters the raffle has that feeling and so it’s just so great for us the St. Jude staff to give that home away for a deserving family and to also raise over a million for the hospital it’s a win, win for everyone,” said Kelsey Skaggs of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
Leaders with St Jude say 10, 500 tickets were sold this year.
Meanwhile, after some paperwork the Hernandez family will be able to move in as soon as the end of the month.
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