Doughology owners Chris and Jackie Stiansen never met NYPD Officer Miosotis Familia. They do not know her family or friends. But Chris spent 23 years as a detective in the NYPD, and the couple felt like they had lost someone close to them when Familia was shot and killed while on patrol in the Bronx on July 5.
“It’s as if it was a family member,” Chris said. “We all hurt when this happens. It’s just a tough time, and we mourn every one of the police officers just like family.”
Chris said that he and Jackie wanted to do something to help Familia’s three children after they lost their mother. They created an NYPD-inspired doughnut, topped with chocolate frosting and blue sprinkles, at their shop, at 45 Atlantic Ave. in Lynbrook, and sold them for $2 each. They sold more than 4,100 doughnuts, and all of the proceeds — $8,294 in all — went to Familia’s family.
Familia, 48, was a Bronx native and had spent 12 years in the NYPD. She worked for the 46th precinct, which serves the central part of the Bronx, including the Fordham, University Heights, Morris Heights and Mount Hope neighborhoods.
According to police, Familia was sitting in a marked NYPD vehicle at Morris Avenue and East 183rd Street in Fordham Heights when Alexander Bonds, 34, fired at her through the glass window of the car. Morris shot Familia in the face. She was rushed to St. Barnabas Hospital, where she later died from her injuries. She was laid to rest on July 12 with a ceremony at World Changers Church in the Bronx.
Bonds was shot and killed by responding police officers near the scene of Familia’s murder. According to The New York Times, Bonds was an ex-convict who spent eight years in prison for robbery. He also suffered from mental illness and expressed anger at police officers and prison guards on his Facebook page shortly before the attack.
Stiansen said that as a former detective, it upset him to learn of Familia’s death. It also inspired him to do something. “Something like this really hits home when a police officer is killed,” he said. “My wife and I, owning Doughology, are in a position where we can raise funds for [Familia’s] family members.” The couple opened Doughology in January 2016.
Stiansen said he expected to make about 50 to 100 of the doughnuts, sell them and donate the proceeds to Familia’s three children, Genesis, 20. Peter, 12, and Delilah, 12. He had no idea how much attention his efforts would attract on social media.
After posting about the fundraiser on Facebook, he said, Doughology’s page received more than 320,000 views. Usually, he said, the page averages about 4,000 visitors, sometimes spiking to 10,000 when a new doughnut is advertised. Once people began sharing the post, however, views multiplied.
The effort even crossed state lines, with people calling Doughology to buy boxes of the doughnuts for local police officers. Stiansen said that orders came in from as far away as Florida, and a woman in Maryland contacted him to purchase two dozen doughnuts for the Lynbrook Police Department. He added that members of the NYPD also bought them for Lynbrook officers, and that the effort united civilians and officers.
“All members of the Lynbrook Police Department are appreciative of the support Doughology is showing to Officer Familia and her family,” Lynbrook Police Chief Joseph Neve said. “No money can replace what has been lost to the officer’s family and to the community that she served. However, it is warming to know that people truly support their police officers and do come to their aid and to the aid of their families when needed.”
On July 16, the Stansiens noted on Facebook that their fundraiser had ended, thanked their customers and said that the results far surpassed expectations. Chris said that they had not contacted Familia’s family, but he planned to deliver a check to the Police Benevolent Associaton to give to the family. A call requesting for comment from the 64th precinct had not been returned as of press time.
“We get a great feeling out of doing this and we’ve run across some amazing people in the last couple of days that want to support the family,” Stansien said. “It just proves there are good people out there still, and the relationship between civilians and cops is getting better. If we can do this one doughnut at a time, it makes me feel good.”