Lovely Father And Son Honor Uvalde Victims By Making 19 custom caskets
50-year-old Ganem and his son in Texas are donating 19 lovely custom caskets to the families of victims of the Uvalde shooting. They’ve been working all day and all night to craft a personalized casket for each child victim.
Trey Ganem, the founder of SoulShine Industries, a company specializing in custom and personalized casket, contacted the families of child victims so he could learn about their interests and includes them in special designs such as superheroes, TikTok, or dinosaurs. Interestingly, all of the designs on the casket is was hand-painted.
“They know I deal with a lot of children and that I can make sure that things get done as far as doing customization and doing something special because this wasn’t your typical funeral arrangements,” Ganem said.
Ganem started a company called SoulShine Industries in Edna, Texas, 11 years ago. In 2016, his son Billy Ganem joined him.
Wanna know something? This isn’t the first time Trey and Billy making caskets for victims of a mass shooting. They also made caskets five years ago for victims of the Sutherland Springs, Texas church shooting.
“It has been an extremely emotional roller coaster for me,” Trey told BuzzFeed. “I don’t even know if you can hear my voice. I haven’t hollered at all, but I’m losing my voice, for whatever reason.”
“Being able to go to the homes is something that is very emotional for me,” Ganem said, CBS reports. “It is not a box anymore. It is a beautiful creation that represents the loved ones.”
“There were so many unique caskets that we did for these families. We did one with a dinosaur holding a flashlight and a pickle. And when the families are telling us, we’re like, ‘Wait, did you just tell me of a flashlight, dinosaur, and a pickle?’ and they giggle, but for whatever reason, it was very special to them,” Ganem told NBC News.
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Many dedicated volunteers came to the shop to help Trey paint, sand, and apply vinyl to the caskets. These lovely volunteers helped transport the caskets back to Uvalde in two large trucks. Trey and his son Billy ultimately hand-painted custom caskets for 19 victims, including 18 children and one adult teacher.
“Awesome people out there that are helping us, I can’t even tell you, my heart is just so warm from everybody reaching out and wanting to be part of this, from sanding, helping do deliveries and you name it, the community has opened up, it’s bringing us all together and making us a tighter community,” Ganem told NBC.
For a custom casket, SoulShine Industries usually charges $3,400 to $3,800. But they waived 100% of their fees for these families.
“We’re here to try to make a hard time a little easier,” Bill said. “There’s nothing we can really ever do to make it easier, but that’s our goal: To help the families … start their grieving and their healing and just try to make something special for them.”
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