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Caskets for Uvalde students made in Griffin

Caskets customized for Uvalde victims
Caskets customized for Uvalde victims(Trey Ganem)
Published: May. 31, 2022 at 4:21 PM EDT
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GRIFFIN, Ga. (CBS46) - Casket customizer Trey Ganem in Uvalde, Texas, knows it’s important work. He’s been meeting with all the family members of the fourth graders who lost their young lives in the nearby elementary school mass shooting.

“Everything comes from my heart,” said Trey Ganem, who is customizing caskets for the Uvalde victims.

He volunteered to customize the 19 child-size caskets, keeping in mind that each young child was unique in their own way.

Despite his phone ringing off the hook, Ganem joined CBS46 News on a video call to talk about the grief.

“My emotions get so involved while we are building these caskets,” said Ganem.

With so many tiny caskets needed in such a short time, Ganem immediately reached out to someone in Griffin, which is south of Atlanta, who he knew could make the caskets in time for the start of funerals this week. He would add custom designs to it, once the child caskets from Georgia arrived in Texas.

“We’ve been doing this for 81 years - wish we didn’t have to make any of these. But we feel our children deserve as nice a casket - if not nicer - than our adults,” said Michael Mims, Cherokee Child Caskets owner.

Cherokee Child Caskets immediately started making the caskets in their Griffin warehouse. -- 5-foot-6-inches in length, built for the Robb Elementary School students to be buried in.

“You feel for the families that dropped their children off to school and expected to pick them up and having a summer vacation this year,” said Mims.

Each one has this beautiful metal design: an angel on every corner.

“We shipped all of those out on a truck line - the driver took them straight here, all the way to Trey Ganem,” said Mims.

Ganem says he wants every casket to memorialize the child, so they can be remembered for their hopes, and dreams.

“I’ve heard so many wonderful stories about these children. They all had ambition. And things they wanted to do -- marine biology, baseball players, you name it, these kids wanted to do it. And to be a part of that, to incorporate all of that onto each of the caskets is a blessing to be a part of their lives and to help with the healing process for the families,” said Ganem.

Mims said Cherokee Child Caskets also supplied the child caskets for the Sandy Hook mass shooting.