Why this man created 21 custom caskets for Uvalde shooting victims
Trey Ganem spoke with family members of the victims to craft customized caskets for each child and adult killed in the Uvalde, Texas, shooting
In the horrible aftermath of a school shooting in Uvalde, Texas, that left 19 children and two adults dead, this man is rolling up his sleeves and trying to serve the families who are suffering.
Trey Ganem owns Texas-based company SoulShine Industries that specializes in crafting custom caskets to honor loved ones. On the Thursday after the shooting, the Texas Funeral Directors Association reached out to Ganem to request custom caskets for the victims of the shooting, per CNN.
Trey Ganem, the owner of custom casket company SoulShine Industries, is providing funeral services to the Uvalde victims’ families free of charge. He took the time to visit with the families of the victims to get to know them and what they liked. pic.twitter.com/LiJsYtbiI4— Natasha ❀ (@ndelriego) May 31, 2022
After working nearly three days straight, Ganem and his crew of five completed all 21 caskets, according to CNN.
The artist met with family members of the victims to learn about their interests and passions to create something that best fit their personalities.
“I’ll sit down with them and they tell me all the stories about their loved one — if they love ponies, if they love butterflies or arts or softball,” Ganem told The Daily Beast. “And when they’re telling me these things about their loved one, I can see them light up on very specific things.”
One of the little girls, Eliahna Torres, loved llamas, TikTok and slime, so the design Ganem and his team went with focused on those aspects for her casket, per Buzzfeed News.
“She would tell me that she needed glue for school because she had a big ole project to do, and the glue would be to make slime,” Sandra Torres, her mother, told BuzzFeed News. “She drove us crazy with the TikTok.”
Ganem covered the cost for each coffin, which comes out to around $3,400 to $3,800, according to The Daily Beast.
“We’re here to try to make a hard time a little easier,” Billy Ganem, 25, told BuzzFeed News. “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.”