A New York foundation raised $610,000 to help pay off the mortgages and relieve financial burden for the families of the five officers murdered in Dallas, Texas.
Two of the families had their homes completely paid off in time for the holidays, relieving a heavy burden from the wives who have been struggling on single incomes since July 7th when their husbands were murdered.
Heidi Smith, who has been trying to make ends meet with her teachers salary, found out Monday that she was mortgage free. On Fox4, Heidi along with her family showed their appreciation stating, “The girls and I would just like to thank everyone that made this possible for us to stay in our home that Michael worked so hard to provide for us. He worked many long hours away from myself and the girls, and we just want to thank everyone that was a part of it.”
In honor of a fallen 9/11 firefighter, the Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation was formed. Families of fallen soldiers and first responders are cared for around the country because of the help this charity offers.
The wives of Officer Michael Smith and Brent Thompson were met by representatives from Tunnel to Towers, and were presented with the gift of a paid off mortgage.
Brent’s wife also spoke out about the generosity she received stating, “I do want to thank everyone that helped with this. This is amazing. Wonderful. And I can’t say thank you enough and express my gratitude enough.”
Stephen Siller’s family completely understood the pain these families were experiencing. The foundation was named after Siller who was a firefighter that died while heroically trying to save those in the Twin Towers on 9/11.
John Hodge, who works with the foundation, said “We lost my cousin 15 years ago, and it could’ve just been yesterday. That’s why we feel so deeply for these families. Because at the end of the day, this pain is not going away anytime soon. We’re trying to relieve a small portion of the pain.”
In the last two years since the foundation’s inception, they have been able to pay of dozens of mortgages for families who have lost or injured first responders. The families of Michael Krol and Lorne Ahrens have been given $100,000, and the family of Officer Patrick Zamarripa was given money towards buying a new home.
Fredrick Frazier, who works with the Assist the Officer Foundation, mentioned that “You can only hope they’re looking down and thinking, saying thank you. That’s hard enough right there to even think about that.”
Donors across the country as well as from New Zealand and Japan have given money to the Tunnel to Towers Foundation. Celebrities and singers like Naomi Judd and Nick Mangold, from the NY Jets, have also donated.
According to Frazier, this has been the largest donation to families of officers slain since the 9/11 attack. This Tuesday at city hall, however, an even larger donation of $10.2 million will be given to the injured and fallen officers from the Assist the Officer Foundation.
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