When New York Police Department detective Miosotis Familia was killed in the line of duty last July, her family was left reeling in the aftershock. Genesis Villella, 20, was left to care for her 12-year-old twins Peter and Delilah Vega. Villella quit college to take care of them as they struggled to adjust.
But their community rallied around them in a stunning way. On Friday, Villella and the twins accepted from the Tunnel to Towers Foundation a new home, fully furnished and mortgage free. The co-op apartment is located in the Riverdale section of the Bronx. The family will be able to move in by Christmas, according to WABC News.
“Love and kindness are never wasted,” said Chairman of the non-profit organization Tunnel to Towers Foundation Frank Siller. “We know life can change in a minute.”
Familia, operating in the 46th precinct, was shot and killed by an emotionally disturbed person who had a personal vendetta against police officers. The murderer, Alexander Bonds, killed Familia over the Fourth of July weekend in the Bronx.
Familia’s murder gripped the hearts and emotions of New Yorkers. The 48-year-old officer was a single mother of three, and was also caring for her own elderly mom. She was the first female New York City Police officer killed in the line of duty since the September 11 attacks.
The Tunnel to Towers Foundation raised $492,000 for the Familia children. Genesis Villela, during the press conference, was moved to tears as she thanked everyone.
“Something our mom always made sure was that we were well taken care of,” she said. “She was the one who kept us afloat.”
She added, “She used to tell us that because she was a single parent, that we shouldn’t feel less fortunate, or that we couldn’t live the live that we wanted. … I can’t change the past. I can only look forward and be prepared for the future.”
Through the donations, the mortgage is paid for as well the maintenance fees. The property taxes will also be paid for years to come, said the spokesman for the Tunnel to Towers Foundation.
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