BROWNSVILLE — Bodega workers are attempting to raise money for the family of the father of two who was killed when a 14-year-old gang member opened fire on a B15 bus Thursday.
Anderson was arrested Friday and charged with second-degree murder.
Bodega workers plan to present Rojas’ widow, Maria Lopez, with $5,000 on Sunday to help with burial expenses and make up for a portion of the lost income, since Rojas was the family’s sole provider, organizers said. They are hoping to pay for a wake in New York, as well as the transport of Rojas' body to the Dominican Repubic, where he was born.
They are also hoping to collect more donations over the coming weeks.
“We are asking New Yorkers to open their hearts and wallets for this family,” said Fernando Mateo, a spokesman for the Bodega Association.
“Our goal is to help create an educational fund for two young children and help Mrs. Rojas with some expenses during these hard times. This is very sad and tragic; it could have happened to anyone of us.”
Those who would like to contribute to Rojas' family can send checks to Catholic Charities New York, at 1011 First Avenue. They can also donate online at www.catholiccharitiesny.org. Mateo said donors should indicate that they would like to contribute to the Rojas family, and can specify whether they would like the money to fund the funeral or the children's education.
He added that he hopes the MTA will help as well.
"The MTA could show more of its humane side by making a donation to this family, but most importantly I think people are looking to the MTA to increase police presence in buses and subways in areas they know are gang related," Mateo said.
His first priority, however, is getting money to Rojas' family.
"They’re destroyed- the children, the wife. This is the time that we need to come together and help them financially," he said.