Everyone deserves a dignified farewell.
That’s the impetus behind the Phaneuf Family Foundation, a non-profit offering financial assistance for funeral and cremation arrangements for needy New Hampshire and Vermont families and individuals.
“The Phaneuf Family Foundation is an opportunity to assist families in need, as well as those who pass away without family members,” said Arthur O. “Buddy” Phaneuf, President of Phaneuf Funeral Homes and Crematorium. He also serves as a trustee and Chairman of the Board of the foundation.
Phaneuf Family Foundation also provides financial support to hospice and other caregiver organizations in New Hampshire and Vermont and will soon offer scholarships to students attending New England Mortuary College.
“I am also excited that we will be able to support the next generation of funeral directors via scholarships,” Buddy Phaneuf added.
Financial assistance has long been available through city and town welfare departments to New Hampshire families who cannot afford the total cost of a cremation or funeral service. Welfare departments will typically pay $750 and the most inexpensive service at the Cremation Society of New Hampshire is $1,000, meaning that families still need to come up with some money. More and more, though, Phaneuf has seen families need help even with that small amount. Thus, he decided to form a non-profit foundation to meet that need.
“I thought there had to be a better way to serve those who had this need,” Phaneuf said. Additionally, there are circumstances where a family may not receive welfare approval for a cremation or funeral because of existing employment. However, that doesn’t mean they have the money on-hand to pay for an unexpected funeral.
The foundation’s maximum distribution amount to any one request by a family, organization or student will not exceed $1,000. Requests for distributions may be made by a family member, friend, funeral director, social worker, hospice or nursing home employee or other interested party. Requests for donations to hospice or caregiver organizations should be made by the Director of the hospice or caregiver organization. Requests for scholarships should be made by the student. (The scholarship portion of the program will likely launch in a year or two, Phaneuf said.)
Funds are eligible for deceased residents of the States of New Hampshire and Vermont, and the donations will cover a range of costs, ranging from a transportation fee for a service to a complete cremation. Visit the foundation’s site here for more information on applying for a donation and how to donate.