NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The foundation created by the brothers of a firefighter killed on 9/11 has helped the children of a slain NYPD detective find a new home.
Her daughter, 20-year-old Genesis Villella, put her college education on hold to fill her mother’s shoes, raising her 12-year-old twin siblings, Delilah and Peter.
“She made the ultimate sacrifice. I prefer that she had not done that but I can’t change the past,” Villella said. “I can only look forward.”
Five months after losing their mother, the family’s future now includes a mortgage-free three-bedroom apartment in the Skyview Towers overlooking the Hudson River in Riverdale.
The Tunnel to Towers Foundation along with the Daily News and developer Myles Horn raised nearly $900,000, which was used to purchase the fully-furnished apartment for the family. The money will also cover the co-op’s maintenance fees for several years.
“When my partners and I learned that they were working to find a home for the family of Detective Familia, and that her children had visited and loved the community at Skyview Riverdale, we wanted to help create a home they would love,” Horn said. “We were able to expedite their renovation before our planned work on other units in order to facilitate their move-in before Christmas.”
Tunnel to Towers Foundation CEO Frank Siller handed the contract to Familia’s children on Friday.
“Everyone at the Tunnel to Towers Foundation, all New Yorkers, and all of America mourned with you but we also wanted to surround you with support and grace so you could carry on,” Siller said, adding that they wanted to make sure the children don’t have to worry about debt.
Familia‘s children should be in their new home in time to celebrate Christmas.