“No family should have to bury a child,” Trey Ganem said. “We don’t just paint caskets here; we represent the lives of the people who have passed.”
Trey Ganem is owner of SoulShine Industries in Edna, Texas, about three hours east of Uvalde. He and his son Billy create custom caskets and are donating 19 of them to Uvalde families as funeral services began this week.
Ganem met personally with each family and gathered information to craft a unique casket for each victim, with different colors, symbols, and animals, and donated the caskets that cost between $3,400 and $3,800. With a few donations, his company has paid for everything.
“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,” explained Ganem.
“I asked her (another mother) if she wanted a unicorn horn coming out of the llama and she started laughing, you know, and this is something I was trying to explain to them (his team), when the parents are doing something very special for their loved one, and when they get excited, you can take a little bit of their pain and suffering away — this is what it’s about. It’s not just about painting a casket, it’s about helping those families to start their healing process,” said Ganem.
Ganem’s company has previously made caskets for the victims of mass shootings, including those at Sutherland Springs and Las Vegas.