Newtown, CT, Update: Wolfelt Articles, Assistance Funds, Media Coverage of Funeral Service

December 20, 2012
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These last few days, as a nation, we have watched as families in Newtown, Conn., go through the very difficult task of remembering and honoring their loved ones whose lives ended far too soon. We are so very proud of the way the members of the Connecticut Funeral Directors Association (CFDA) have come together to serve each one of these families and ensure that they have the time and space they need to memorialize their loved ones.Perhaps NFDA’s gratitude to CFDA members can best be expressed by President Bob Rosson, who sent the following email to funeral directors in Connecticut:Just a short note to say that I am so very proud of how all of you are working so very hard and tirelessly to help bury the victims of the horrific tragedy. The entire nation involved in funeral service is watching from afar and we are all so proud of how all of you are working as a team in handling the funeral services the way they should be done with dignity and respect that all families deserve. We have heard the reports of how much you are working and how hard this is on all of you, but continue to stand strong. We will continue to pray for you, as well as the families, and the entire community of Newtown, Connecticut. It is an honor to be associated with true professionals in Funeral Service such as yourselves. God bless you all and thanks for representing funeral service during this unprecedented time of grief and loss.

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NFDA would like to share three important updates:

Media Shares Positive Stories About Funeral Directors Serving Newtown Families
The efforts of the 11 funeral homes and more than 100 funeral director volunteers who are serving the families whose loved ones died at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., is extraordinary. The tender care being shown by your funeral service colleagues in Connecticut has not gone unnoticed. The media has been sharing stories about the way in which funeral service has stepped up to serve victims’ families.

Following are just a few of the positive stories that have appeared in the media in recent days:
CNN, “Burying the victims of Sandy Hook: One funeral director in Newtown will bury 11 of 26 victims”

Wall Street Journal, “Daily Services Take Toll”

New York Times, “Painful Duty: Consoling a Town Preparing to Bury Its Children”

CBS Evening News, “Funerals Begin for Conn. Shooting Victims”

York Daily Record, “Funeral Directors Prepare for Burials in Newtown, Conn.”

Huffington Post, “Honan Funeral Home In Newtown Gets Help From Donors To Bury Sandy Hook Shooting Victims”

ABC News, “Newtown, Conn., Overwhelmed by Outpouring of Support, Donations”

NFDA thanks CFDA/NFDA members Pasquale Folino, Howard K. Hill, Daniel Honan, Shauna Molloy and others who, in spite of their primary focus being on the families they are serving, are still making time to share their stories with the media. NFDA also thanks its members, like David Weber of Baltimore, Md., Thomas Lynch of Clawson, Mich., and others who are taking time to share their expertise and help the public understand the value of funerals.

Wolfelt Shares Second Article: “Why Meaningful Funerals Are Vital After Traumatic Death”
Earlier this week, renowned grief expert Dr. Alan Wolfelt shared an article with NFDA members, “How to Talk to the Children and Teens in Your Life About the Newtown, CT, Tragedy.

NFDA is pleased to share another article by Dr. Wolfelt, which conveys information about why funerals following tragic deaths, such as those in Newtown, are an important part of mourning and a critical step in healing.

Click the link below to download Dr. Wolfelt’s article.
Why Meaningful Funerals are Vital After Traumatic Death, by Alan D. Wolfelt, Ph.D.

You are welcome to download the articles article at no charge and share them with your community in whatever way you feel is most appropriate. Some suggestions include:

  • Make them available on your funeral home website or social media sites
  • Send copies of the article to local schools
  • Share with local clergy
  • Distribute the articles to community organizations for children, such as the YMCA, Boys & Girls Clubs, scouting groups, etc.
  • Send copies to your local media

If you are in need of other grief resources to help your community cope with last week’s events, please call your personal member services representative at 800-228-6332 to learn more about the materials NFDA has available through its Resource Store.

Victims’ Assistance Funds
NFDA has heard from members who have concerns about the legitimacy of various charities that are accepting donations to support the victims of last week’s tragic events in Newtown.

It is NFDA’s recommendation is that you support the funds that have been established by CFDA and the Funeral Service Foundation.

The Connecticut Funeral Directors Association has established an account with Liberty Bank to aid the families of the Newtown shooting with funeral and related expenses. Contributions may be mailed to:
“CFDA Newtown Support Fund”
C/O Liberty Bank
171 Silas Deane Highway
Wethersfield, CT 06109
Attn: Ben Floren, Liberty Bank

More information about the Funeral Service Foundation’s fund, which will be used to support the needs of victims, funeral directors and the community of Newtown, can be found by visiting the Foundation website (www.funeralservicefoundation.org); look for a button that will take you to information about how to contribute.

There are many other legitimate organizations that are accepting contributions to support the victims. Please ensure that the organization to which you are contributing will use the funds as you intend them to be used by:

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