You may remember the story of NYPD Detective Miosotis Familia, the 48-year-old officer and mother who was shot and killed in cold blood on July 5.
While sitting in a department mobile control unit, a deranged gunman with a history of mental illness shot the officer simply for wearing the uniform.
Familia was a single mom. Her three children were left devastated.
At her mother’s funeral, 20-year-old Genesis Villella gave an emotional plea to humanize law enforcement. “My mom is more than just a uniform,” Villella said at the time.
Now, the responsibility of motherhood and burden of adulthood has fallen squarely on the 20-year-old’s shoulders.
She has her siblings to take care of, 12-year-old twins, Delilah and Peter Vega.
Grief is a lonely road, yet Familia’s children were not forgotten, nor abandoned by their community. Thanks to the efforts of three local organizations, Familia’s children are preparing to move into a newly renovated three-bedroom co-op in the Bronx, all for free.
The Daily News, Tunnel to Towers Foundation, and the Skyview Apartments LLC are responsible for raising $818,000 to cover the cost of the home and its furnishings.
The money will also be used to establish a trust fund, so the children can cover the costs of property taxes and home maintenance.
Tears streamed down Villella’s face as she stood alongside her siblings to thank donors for the home.
She paid tribute to her mother, who told her children that coming from a single parent household was no reason to expect any less from life.
“I give my mom 110 percent credit for everything that she’s done with us,” an emotional Villella expressed. “She sacrificed and she’s still sacrificing for us, and she made the ultimate sacrifice.”
Villella continued on to acknowledge that she can’t change the past, only move forward and prepare for the future. “Thank you so much for caring about me and my brother and sister,” she told donors on Dec. 1.
Skyview developer Myles Horn and his colleagues made plans to ensure the kids could move into their new home before the holidays. “We were able to expedite their renovation before our planned work on other units in order to facilitate their move-in before Christmas,” Horn told the Daily News.
This is the first Christmas Villella and her siblings will spend without their mother.
While nothing can entirely ease the pain of loss, knowing a community cares enough to buy them a home is a hefty encouragement, and a salve to their tender wound.