Family members of slain Dallas police officers discovered Monday that a charity has raised the funds to pay off their mortgages — just in time for Christmas.
According to KDFW-TV, the Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation, which was formed in honor of a fallen 9/11 firefighter, raised $610,000 to help the family members of five Dallas police officers who were killed in July.
Representatives from the charity met with the widows of officers Michael Smith and Brent Thompson to finalize their mortgage paperwork.
Heidi Smith told those in attendance that she and her daughters “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,” she said.
Emily Thompson also offered her thanks. “This is amazing. Wonderful,” she said. “And I can't say thank you enough and express my gratitude enough.”
John Hodge, the Tunnel to Towers Foundation’s chief operating officer, told KDFW that after the death of his cousin during the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, the charity was founded to care for the families of fallen soldiers and first responders.
“We lost my cousin 15 years ago, and it could've just been yesterday,” 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.”