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Families of Slain Dallas Police Officers Have Their Mortgages Paid Off

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cnn.com

cnn.com

The families of two Dallas police officers killed in the line of duty in July are about to experience their first Christmas without their lived one. But however dark the cloud there is always a silver lining.

Earlier this week, the families of Officers Michael Smith and Brent Thompson learned that a charity has raised the money to pay off the mortgages of each family. The gesture obviously won’t bring back their loved ones, but it will help the families during a difficult time.

The charity that raised the funds is the Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation, a charity that started in honor of a New York City firefighter who died on September 11. Immediately following the death of the officers in Dallas, organizers at the Tunnel To Towers Foundation were resolved to do something for the families.

At a ceremony this week, John Hodge, the COO of the Tunnel to Towers Foundation and the cousin of Stephen Siller, presented a receipt to the widows of the two fallen officers indicating that their mortgage had been paid off in full.

“Ultimately, we raised approximately $610,000 in five days in order to be able to assist these families. And the money poured in from all over the country and quite frankly all over the world,” Hodge explained at the ceremony.

“I do want to thank everybody who helped with this, it is amazing, and wonderful and I can’t say thank you enough and express my gratitude enough,” said Officer Thompson’s widow, Emily. Officer Smith’s widow, Heidi, also expressed her gratitude to everyone helped her family remain in their house.

In addition to paying off those mortgages, the foundation is working to find housing for the family of Officer Patricio Zamarippa, who was also killed in July. The families of Officers Lorne Aherns and Michael Krol are also receiving $100,000 in donations from the charity.

“We lost my cousin 15 years ago, and it could’ve just been yesterday,” Hodge said at the ceremony. “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.”