By Jim Williams


(CBS) –One week ago, a 35-year-old man described as a devoted father and husband was shot to death as he left work.

So many people have been touched by the murder of a fast food cook trying to provide for his family, they’ve reached out in ways big and small

For Amanda Garza and her three children, ages 15, 12 and 6, late at night is the most difficult time.

“We have our moments when we cry ourselves to sleep, but that’s going to be normal because we lost a great man,” Garza said.

Donatello Herrera was shot to death last week at Roosevelt and Ogden as he waited for a CTA bus. He had just finished his shift at a Burger King. Police say he was not the target.

Over the weekend, at the spot where Herrera died, his youngest child, Serenity, made a plea for her dad.

Chicagoans have responded with extraordinary kindness, donating Christmas gifts and food and paying for Donatello’s funeral.

“I wouldn’t have been able to do anything with their father; he would have to have gone to a mass grave,” Garza said. “I wouldn’t have been able to cremate him or have a service for him or anything because I didn’t have the funds.”

Donatello-HerreraA CBS 2 viewer who didn’t want to be identified gave Serenity two brand new American Girl dolls with a handwritten note which said, “Dearest Child … I hope you share your love with this doll. She will be a kind, patient friend … she is also very smart and brave — like I’m sure you are, too.”

“It brought tears to my eyes because it’s just so beautiful,” Amanda Garza said.Donatello-Herrera-daughter The Herrera Family also is getting help from the Chicago Survivors Program, but there are many painful days ahead.

“For the rest of our lives, it’s going to be hard, but I have to stay strong for my kids,” Amanda Garza said.

Amanda Garza tells CBS 2 she needs a full-time job now that she’s the sole provider. She’s only working part-time at a TJ Maxx.

The Chicago Survivors organization is providing social services for the family and connecting them to others whose relatives have been murdered. Their website is ChicagoSurvivors.org.

Learn more about the murder of Donatello Herrera here:

3 Killed, 13 Wounded In Wednesday Shootings

Police Searching For Gunman Who Killed Father Of Three Near Bus Stop