Funeral Home Relationships

Funeral Home Relationships
By Kendra Harris

At The Living Legacy Foundation, we take pride in building strong relationships with all of our partners in the community that help support organ and tissue donation.  We appreciate that without these solid connections the donation process would not be as successful as it is today. Over the years we have created a significant relationship with the funeral home community. This collaboration ensures the families we both share have the opportunity to offer the most important gift, the gift of life.

We work with funeral homes on a regular basis, constantly keeping them informed of our process to help guarantee that donor families are properly cared for. This open form of communication is imperative between The LLF and funeral homes as we share the same goal – to preserve the option of donation and to protect our donor families. One of our partners, Staci Sphar of Evans Funeral Chapel of Parkville says, “Being able to see the dedication The LLF has for the families they service is a reflection of the help we provide to families every day. The support and dedication to families is what drives the directors and staff of Evans Funeral Chapel and Cremation Services to be committed to their work and their families.” This example of support is what helps keep the lines of communication strong and clear and to assure that all donor families are respected.

The Living Legacy Foundation is lucky to work with numerous funeral directors across Maryland and the mutual respect we have obtained proves to be worthwhile.  We are proud to recognize several of our partners that have participated in The LLF events like our Donate Life Family Fun Run, workshops and open houses. Mike Marzullo of Marzullo Funeral Chapel states, “I attended the Donor Ceremony of Remembrance because there are families here that we serve personally.  Marzullo Funeral Chapel wants to show the people that we care, just as The Living Legacy Foundation does.” As our funeral home partners become more and more engaged in The Living Legacy Foundation’s events, the culture of donation will only continue to evolve as our message is shared with others.

The Living Legacy Foundation also works collaboratively with the Maryland State Funeral Directors Association and the Maryland State Board of Morticians to help circulate information on upcoming webinars and continuing education programs.   We are proud to continue fostering relationships with our funeral home partners, and maintain an open dialogue to combat any misconceptions or lack of understanding about the organ and tissue donation process.  It is evident that by working together, funeral directors and the organ procurement organization will truly benefit from this unique relationship. “We support The Living Legacy Foundation of Maryland as they support and help others because we believe that it is important to honor a person who passed and to honor their life.  By being a donor they are giving the gift of life, the ultimate honor. We are proud to be able to stand with The Living Legacy Foundation of Maryland and continue our support” says Sphar.

As we look to the future, The LLF will continue to expand its relationships.  Recently, a Funeral Home Action Committee was developed to help serve as a resource for our staff and the funeral home community. The committee’s goal is to focus our efforts on providing the highest quality of service for our donor families and to help maintain that constant communication.  The workgroup is another way to strengthen our bonds and maintain a beneficial working relationship with our partners. We appreciate all the support we receive from the community and hope to grow by spreading our message of awareness to others.

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Kendra Harris and Mike Marzullo

For more information about our funeral home partnership or the Funeral Home Action Committee, please contact Kendra Harris at kharris@thellf.org

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About Lisa McAllister

Lisa McAllister is the Public Relations Coordinator at The Living Legacy Foundation. She hopes to spread education and advocacy about the importance of organ donation through social media and community events. With a background in public relations, writing, and advertising, Lisa is passionate about the LLF message and loves using her skills to encourage others to say YES to donation!
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