Emily Thompson and Heidi Smith, widows of two of the five officers killed in a downtown Dallas ambush last July, received some much-needed good news on the first holiday season they’ll be without their husbands.
The Stephen Siller Tunnels to Towers Foundation, a New York-based charity, raised over $600,000 dollars to help pay off their homes, according to WFAA
The tragedy in July left Heidi with only her income as a teacher to make ends meet for herself and two daughters. She learned on Monday they are now mortgage-free.
Representatives from Tunnel to Towers and the widows of two fallen New York City police officers met with the wives of Officers Michael Smith and Brent Thompson to hand over their mortgage paperwork.
“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,” Heidi said. “He worked many long hours away from myself and the girls, and we just want to thank everyone that was a part of it.”
The foundation was formed in honor of a fallen 9/11 firefighter. They now help to care for the families of slain soldiers and first responders all across the country.
“I do want to thank everyone that helped with this. This is amazing. Wonderful,” said Emily Smith, widow to Officer Brent Smith. “And I can’t say thank you enough and express my gratitude enough.”
Stephen Siller, the foundation’s namesake, was a firefighter who died running to the Twin Towers on 9/11.
“We lost my cousin 15 years ago, and it could’ve just been yesterday,” the foundation’s John Hodge said. “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.”