Man Offers To Donate Custom Caskets For Sutherland Springs Shooting Victims

Tuesday, November 7th 2017, 9:27 pm
By: News 9

On Tuesday, Trey Ganem traveled to the small town of Sutherland Springs to meet the families of those who died in the shooting at First Baptist Church.

Ganem, owner of Trey Ganem Designs in Edna, Texas — about a two-hour drive from Sutherland Springs — is offering to create custom-made caskets free of charge for anyone who wants one. His designs are unique and personalized to each individual.

"This is something that I can't fathom. It's dear to me," Ganem said in a video posted to his Facebook page on Monday. "We want to give back. So, if you know anybody who was in this incident let them know that we're here for them."

The designer's message was viewed by more than 200,000 people, including friends and family members of the victims.

"I appreciate it. Thank God our family doesn't need one," Margaret Summers commented on the post. "My family member who was shot 5 times is recovering beautifully. God is so good. But thank you for helping."

"Thank you for your love and your tender, giving heart to the friends and family of my sweet friends," Barbara Sweet wrote. "There's a special place in heaven for folks like you and I pray that you will be abundantly blessed for your generosity!"

Ganem encouraged people to reach out to him if they know someone affected by Sunday's shooting.

"We're blessed to be able to bless others, and this is something that we want to do," Ganem added.

This isn't the first time Ganem has stepped up in the wake of tragedy.

In Nov. 2014, the artist used his talents to help the family of five children — ages 15, 13, 9, 6 and 5 — who died in a mobile home fire just miles away from his business. Ganem created a special casket for each child based on their interests.

"We want it to be more of a celebration of that person's life," Ganem told CBS affiliate KHOU in a 2014 interview.

Two years later, Ganem loaded up a trailer and headed to Baton Rouge, Louisiana, where three police officers were killed in an ambush. He created custom caskets for fallen officers Montrell Jackson, Brad Garafola and Matthew Gerald.

"These guys made the ultimate sacrifice for us, and so I want to give back," Trey Ganem told KHOU in July 2016. "We don't want to fight hate with hate. This is about unity."

Ganem has not yet responded to CBS News' request for comment on his latest mission in Sutherland Springs.

"Trey is currently with families right now," a spokesman for his company told CBS News Tuesday afternoon.