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DTE gives Christmas surprise to kids whose mother died while protecting them

Posted at 3:54 PM, Dec 25, 2019
and last updated 2019-12-25 15:54:00-05

For those who have lost a loved one, the holidays can be hard.

DTE wanted to brighten the Christmas season for the family of Francesca Marks, the mother of 7 shot and killed while playing with her kids in the park.

When something this tragic happens, it’s painfully clear there are people in the world doing bad things.

This Christmas present surprise reminded this sweet family that there are good people, right here in metro Detroit, who care.

Unbridled screams of joy filled the Lowery home as DTE employees brought in truck loads of gifts.

Filling wish lists for all 7 kids, the oldest just 12 years old, with hoverboards, dolls, winter coats and so much much more!

"It seems so much to me, I’m so happy for everybody coming out donating, like to support us and everything," says young Khia Lowery.

For this family, their biggest gift isn’t under the tree, it’s the people who made this surprise Christmas party possible.

"So many companies give to organizations, but don’t think about the people actually in our neighborhoods who have lost a loved one around the holiday," says Mariah Hayes with DTE.

"It’s a blessing, you know, just to have the love and support. You know, me being a single parent now, without their mother, it means the world to me," says Kevin Lowery.

Francesca Marks, 30, was fatally shot at Rouge Park in August after two men got into a fight over a basketball game. She was in another part of the park with her kids.

"She died in front of me," Khia said."I seen her die and it’s like one of the hardest things, to see your mama die."

That was just four months ago.

"This is so hard 'cause this is our first Christmas without our mom, but we’re keeping strong," Khia said. "It's a hard day, but a good day."

DTE coordinated with their father to surprise the kids, showering them with love and Christmas cheer.

"I never knew that they would do so much for us ... I’m just so happy," Khia said.

"I’m glad that they had a good Christmas, I’m gonna have a good Christmas because they did," Hayes said.

In the midst of a dark time, it's the hope and light this family needed.

"I love this, I never knew that people cared like that … but now I see it," says Kevin Lowrey.