‘Trey, the Texas Medium’ providing custom designed coffins for Uvalde school shooting victims

(Video: Fox 26)

While many saw the tragedy in Uvalde, TX as an opportunity to further division and promote their own agenda, including many in leadership positions, at least one small business owner recognized the wake of such loss as a time to come together.

Trey Ganem has what some consider to be an unenviable profession. Owner of SoulShine Industries in Edna, TX, the 50-year-old star of the A&E reality show, “Trey the Texas Medium,” is in the business of custom coffin design and communicating with the dead. Now, after 19 children and two teachers were massacred at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde Tuesday, Ganem is seeing to it that the families of the victims will not be burdened with some of the terrible costs in laying their loved ones to rest.

“I was called by a few people who needed caskets urgently, and the whole thing really tore me up so I decided to help,” he told the New York Post.

“We started working on the caskets on Friday, and we have eight of them painted,” Ganem explained of the round the clock effort to complete the projects. “We are still talking to the families as we speak, and they are at the funeral homes walking through and looking at examples. And then we are here in Edna, jotting down the information to get exactly what they want.”

The caskets were manufactured in Georgia by the Cherokee Casket Company and, at a typical cost of around $3,400 each, Ganem stated that he would be fitting the bill for each with customization included as well. After speaking with members of 19 families representing 18 of the children and fourth grade teacher Eva Mireles, he continued to work on incorporating the unique spirit of each loved one into his designs.

“Building that relationship,” he told Fox 26, “being able to go to their homes is something that is very emotional for me. To listen to them talk about their loved one, it helps me incorporate the design for these caskets.”

Ganem also relayed how the conversations are part of the healing process for the family, “When people talk about what they loved, they start smiling. Even though it’s this horrible time, they’re remembering the joy and the love their loved ones had.”

“It’s not a box anymore. It’s a beautiful creation that represents their loved ones,” the designer said of the completed work.

The designs include images of dinosaurs, butterflies or pictures of hiking in the mountains, as Ganem told The Daily Beast one family requested. “And we’re actually putting them in with the wrap and we’ll incorporate the colors on the exterior to go with that. So it’ll look like a giant photo across the top of the casket. And it’s gonna be beautiful.”

Ganem has repeatedly stepped up in the face of tragedy to do his part for those in need. After the 2017 Sutherland Springs, TX massacre at the First Baptist Church where 26 people were killed, he offered free coffins the families of those victims as well.

“What we want to do is start the healing process here. I want to make sure that we celebrate the lives of the people who were there,” he said at the time. Ganem has also designed free coffins for Vanessa Guillen, a soldier murdered at Ft. Hood in 2020, and four-year-old Maleah Davis who had gone missing in 2019 only to later be found deceased on the side of the road in Arkansas.

Of his other profession as a medium, Ganem said that he has been clairvoyant since he was five-years-old and that he has also communicated with the victims as he worked on their caskets. On that matter, he provided nothing more than to say, “It helps me create the caskets.”

He expects all of the work will be completed and delivered before Tuesday in time for the funerals of the victims.


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