In July 2017, a NYPD detective named Miosotis Familia was killed while on duty. She left behind three children: Genesis Villella, 20, and 12-year-old twins Peter and Delilah Vega. On Friday, Familia’s children received the gift of a lifetime: a fully-furnished, mortgage-free, co-op apartment to live in.
The nonprofit organization The Tunnels to Towers Foundation, which is dedicated to honoring service members and first responders, raised $818,000 for the purchase of the apartment along with the New York Daily News and Skyview Apartments LLC.
Villella, who has postponed college to take care of her younger siblings in the wake of her mother’s death, was overcome with gratitude during a press conference where the family learned about the life-changing gift.
“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 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 life that we wanted. I can’t change the past. I can only look forward and be prepared for the future.”
Beautiful words from Genesis Villella, daughter of slain NYPD Det. Miosotis Familia, as she and her brother &sister receive their new home from @Tunnel2Towers in Riverdale @NYPD46Pct @NYPDnews pic.twitter.com/LGjm40JlOa
— Stacey Sager (@staceysager7) December 1, 2017
The Tunnels To Towers Foundation has raised over $4 million for new homes for children of slain first responders. The organization was created by the loved ones of Stephen Siller, a firefighter who was killed on September 11.
“Love and kindness are never wasted,” the foundation’s chairman, Frank Siller, said. “We know life can change in a minute.”
Familia was the first female NYPD officer killed in the line of duty since the September 11 attacks when she was shot and killed by an emotionally disturbed man over 4th of July weekend.
“Being a police officer was her calling,’’ Villella told the New York Post of her late mom. “She wanted to make New York City a safer place.’’
Her children’s new home is located in the Riverdale section of the Bronx, and they will be able to move in before Christmas.The foundation has paid for the home’s mortgage and maintenance fees and will also pay the property taxes for years to come.
What a heartwarming story for this holiday season!