Bittersweet Gift: Families of Slain Dallas Officers Have Mortgages Paid Off

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DALLAS -- It's a sense of relief in what's probably the hardest holiday season for five families.

Organizers with the Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation raised more than $610,000 in just five days to help the widows and families of the slain Dallas officers.

People from all over the country and the globe donated to the cause. "People were so upset and so moved by the heroism of the police officers and the sacrifice the families would be making that they wanted to assist us," Tunnel to Towers COO John Hodge said.

The money ultimately went toward paying off the mortgages of Officers Michael Smith and Brent Thompson, finding a home for the family of officers Patrick Zamarripa, and giving $100,000 each to the families of officers Lorne Aherns and Michael Krol.

"I would just like to thank everyone who made this possible for us to stay in our home that Michael worked so hard to provide for us," said Officer Smith's widow, Heidi.

Officer Thompson's widow, Emily said, "It is amazing and wonderful, and I can't say thank you enough and express my gratitude enough."

The last thing they should worry about is staying in their home. It's a burden that has been lifted for families who have already endured more than anyone can imagine.