March 30, 2020

Matthews Memorialization is proud to support the Funeral Service Foundation’s COVID-19 Crisis Response Fund to provide emergency assistance and grief support during this rapidly evolving crisis. Learn more

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

MARCH 30, 2020
Media Contact: Kelly Manion
Phone: 262-814-1574
Email: kmanion@funeralservicefoundation.org

Funeral Service Foundation Launches COVID-19 Crisis Response Fund

Brookfield, Wis. – The Funeral Service Foundation today announces the launch of its COVID-19 Crisis Response Fund, which will help funeral service professionals and organizations working throughout the country who are disproportionately impacted by the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Gifts at every level can be made at FuneralServiceFoundation.org.

The COVID-19 Crisis Response Fund has two pillars of support: emergency assistance and grief support. Designed to be flexible, the fund will provide grants for immediate needs within funeral service including emergency response to significant loss of life; grants to organizations providing services and resources to families with unresolved and complicated grief due to loss during this crisis; and grants for other important needs as funeral service continues to serve families during this rapidly evolving crisis.

“The Foundation’s Board of Trustees launched this fund with the understanding that funeral service is already responding to the crisis in a big way, and will need tremendous support to continue to do so effectively,” said Foundation Chair Anthony Guerra of Guerra & Gutierrez Mortuaries in Los Angeles. “We all may feel a little helpless as we navigate our way forward in the wake of this pandemic; a donation to this fund goes directly to help funeral service and will make a true difference the lives of those we are called to serve. It feels great to be able to do something concrete to lift up our profession.”

“Matthews is proud to do anything we can to support the funeral service profession during this unprecedented time,” said Steve Gackenbach, Group President, Memorialization at Matthews International and a Foundation Trustee. “Our donation helps ensure that funeral service professionals will have the resources and support they need to assist families who can’t say goodbye in ways they wish, which may result in unresolved and complicated grief.”

The Foundation is counting on the funeral service community to respond generously and help at this unprecedented time of need and uncertainty. One-time or monthly gifts to the Funeral Service Foundation’s COVID-19 Crisis Response Fund can be made online at FuneralServiceFoundation.org. Those interested in supporting may also send checks, made payable to the Funeral Service Foundation to the FSF COVID-19 Crisis Response Fund, 13625 Bishop’s Drive, Brookfield, WI 53005, or call 1-877-402-5900 to make a gift by phone.

About the Funeral Service Foundation – FuneralServiceFoundation.org

Since 1945, the Funeral Service Foundation has served as the profession’s philanthropic voice. As the charitable arm of the National Funeral Directors Association since 1997, the Foundation receives operational support from NFDA and donors across the profession to help advance its mission to support funeral service in building meaningful relationships with the families and the communities it serves.

A Message from Thomas Pontone
President
Matthews Aurora Funeral Solutions

March 17, 2020

Dear Valued Customers,

Like so many other companies across the country and around the globe, Matthews Aurora Funeral Solutions is actively responding to recent developments with the coronavirus (COVID-19) and are focusing on our number one priority: the well-being of our customers and employees. We are proud to be part of the death care profession, one that is led by compassion and caring for others during difficult times. Our thoughts are with those families who are directly affected by the virus, and those who may worry about their health and economic security. We’re keeping a close eye on how the virus may
affect all aspects of our business — from our employees, operations and supply chain, to the impacts on your business and the families you serve, and we are committed to helping our customers navigate
this challenging situation.

Matthews Aurora leadership has been meeting frequently since January, and has developed and implemented plans to ensure we can continue to operate effectively and support the needs of our
customers based on three key principles:

  1. To protect the health and safety of our employees, customers and the communities in which we operate.
  2. To continue to serve our customers without interruption at the highest level of service.
  3. To maintain our reputation in the industry and communities we serve and to comply with all local, state and federal policies.

Based on the strong mitigation and contingency plans we have put in place, we have taken steps to protect our supply chain and are very well positioned to serve our funeral home customers without any interruption.

  • We are not experiencing any supply issues for casket raw materials.
  • Our manufacturing facilities are fully operational.
  • We have very strong inventory levels.

We do not expect any service issues at this time.

We have taken steps to provide for the health and safety of our delivery drivers and customers, and you may notice these changes:

  • Our drivers and warehouse staff are following CDC and OSHA best practices as they continue to deliver caskets to your funeral homes.
  • If you’re not comfortable signing for deliveries, your delivery driver will not require you to sign. They will instead write down your name as confirmation that you received the delivery.
  • Our drivers are practicing social distancing and proper hand washing/hygiene.
  • We are also taking other virus safety measures that may not be visible to you and are doing so out of an abundance of caution and respect for your staff and our employees.

Your Funeral Service Consultant will continue to serve you, either via phone or in-person when possible, and will follow the above-prescribed safety protocols. Your FSC will call ahead before visiting and will respect your wishes regarding in-person visits. One example of things our FSCs are helping customers with is developing capabilities for funeral homes to make arrangements with families in a remote setting. Please let your FSC know how they might support you during this period. Our Customer Service Team is maintaining standard business hours and will continue to support your needs.

The Matthews Aurora team will continue to closely monitor all developments and provide updates should conditions change. Our commitment to serving you and the needs of your families remains steadfast. If there is anything Matthews Aurora can do to help support your business during this time, please let your FSC or me know and we’ll do everything we can to assist you.

Wishing you, your employees and your families the best in these challenging times.

Warmly,

Thomas