Texas school shooting: Company donates 19 custom caskets to victims

EDNA, Texas — A Texas company will be making custom caskets for each of the children killed in the shooting at Robb Elementary in Uvalde, Texas, as well as one teacher.

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Eighteen children and two teachers were killed by a gunman inside Robb Elementary on May 24 in the deadliest school shooting in Texas history.

Soulshine Industries, based in Edna, Texas, is run by Tray Ganem. Ganem told CNN that he was contacted by the Texas Funeral Directors Association the day of the shooting to make the caskets.

Ganem works with his son, Billy, and the two worked tirelessly to be able to design, create and deliver the caskets to Uvalde, CNN reported.

“We don’t just paint caskets here, we represent the lives of the people who have passed,” Ganem told KXAS.

Ganem told KXAS he personally spoke with each family to learn about the victims and create a unique casket for their loved ones.

“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,” Ganem told KXAS.

The caskets came from a company in Georgia that worked 20 hours straight to produce them, CNN reported. In a Facebook post Friday, Soulshine Industries shared photos showing the caskets arriving.

Ganem told CNN he finished all 19 caskets over the holiday weekend, sleeping only about six hours.

“We don’t just put a vinyl wrap on tip. We actually custom paint every single one. We take the casket completely apart, and we paint the hardware, we paint the bars,” Ganem told CNN. The class and passion that we put into these is bar none.”

Each casket costs between $3,400 and $3,800 to produce, and while Ganem told CNN that he has received some donations, his company has paid for nearly everything.

“I didn’t even think twice when I was asked to do it,” Ganem told CNN.