Georgia company gives child caskets to Texas man to customize for Uvalde’s young victims

ATLANTA — As the children killed in the Uvalde school shooting start to be put to rest, Channel 2 Action News has learned that a local company has provided caskets for some of the victims that a Texas man personalized for the children.

Cherokee Child Caskets, which has been in business for 81 years, is based in Griffin. The company’s president, Mike Mims, confirmed to Channel 2 Action News that the company sent several caskets to Trey Ganem, who is customizing the caskets for the victims of the school tragedy, free of charge.

Ganem runs SoulShine Industries out of Eden, Texas. A Facebook post on Tuesday by I’m From Denver showed how Ganem has personalized the caskets with themes for each child’s favorite movies and cartoon characters.

One of the caskets is painted with the Superman logo. Others are Star Wars themed.

The Facebook post said that once the tragedy happened, Ganem was flooded with messages to help, and he jumped into action to get the caskets to the families in time.

“Ganem said the manufacturer worked for 20 hours straight to get the orders out on time. Then his close friend Bubba Hoffman hired a Texas trucking company to make the 26-hour trip from Texas to Georgia and then back to Texas. When the delivery arrived at 2 a.m. Friday, Ganem and his son Billy Ganem worked nonstop, getting only a couple of hours of sleep,” the post said.

Ganem said that he had more than a dozen volunteers offer to help paint, sand, and apply vinyl to the child-size caskets.

“By Saturday, the crew was making the three-and-a-half-hour drive to Uvalde from Edna to donate eight completed caskets. Ganem expects to deliver the remaining caskets Sunday. In all, he prepared 19 caskets for Uvalde victims: 18 of the 19 children and one adult,” the post said.

Mims said he met Ganem for the first time in person years ago and said he’s always more than happy to help him out.

“We feel like our children deserve a nicer casket than us adults,” Mims said.



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