Seven children in West Bloomfield who are without their father after his murder in Detroit are receiving a moral and financial boost, thanks to their classmates and a local nonprofit.
The Farmington Hills-based Chaldean American Ladies of Charity (CALC) is collaborating with the Walled Lake Consolidated School District and the nonprofit Chaldean Community Foundation on an emergency relief fund to help after Samir Hannawa, 49, was gunned down while working Nov. 7.
The case is yet unsolved, while Hannawa leaves behind a wife and seven children, ages 2-to-18 — five of which are in the Walled Lake Consolidated School District.
Victoria Hannawa, 12, is a seventh-grader at Walnut Creek Middle School, where students paid a minimum of $2 to listen to their iPods during designated times throughout the day. A pancake breakfast was held to raise funds.
"Victoria is a valuable member of our Walnut Creek community," said Principal Carol-Lyn McKelvey. "We are proud and honored to be able to support the Hannawa family during this difficult time. The generosity of our students and their families is truly a testament to their character."
The collaborative middle school effort raised $1,682. Efforts led by the nonprofit organization CALC have raised $2,050, combining for nearly $4,000 in aid.
"The funds will help with their financial burdens and needs for housing, food and basic necessities. Every donation is a blessing to this family," said CALC Executive Director Jane Shallal.
Hannawa, a native of Telkaif, Iraq, came to the United States in 2000. He worked as a manager of a Detroit party store and had reportedly taken his car in for maintenance when at just after 12 noon, it was reported that two unknown suspects arrived, shooting and killing Hannawa outside the repair shop.
"He was the nicest, most hardworking man you would ever meet... he was always one phone call away," his 18-year-old daughter and Western High graduate Athraa Hannawa said in one interview. "... He loved his kids to death ... he worked hard for us."
If you are interested in helping the Hannawas, you can make donations fund through "CALC in care of Hannawa Family." Mail checks to 32000 Northwestern Hwy. Ste: 150, Farmington Hills, MI 48334 or online at CALConline.org to donate by PayPal.