Foundation to fund funerals for people in Vt., N.H.

The nonprofit Phaneuf Family Foundation was launched this summer to provide financial assistance for funeral and cremation arrangements for needy individuals and families in New Hampshire and Vermont.

According to a news release, the foundation will also provide financial support to hospice and other caregiver organizations and present scholarships to students attending a New England mortuary college.

Financial assistance has long been available through city, town, and state welfare departments to New Hampshire and Vermont families who cannot afford the total cost of a cremation or funeral service.

Welfare departments will typically pay an average of $750, and the most inexpensive service at funeral homes in New Hampshire averages $1,000, meaning that families still need to come up with some money.

“We have encountered many families that need help even with that small amount. Our foundation will help fill that need,” said Arthur O. “Buddy” Phaneuf, president of Phaneuf Funeral Homes and Crematorium. “Everyone deserves a dignified farewell.”

Phaneuf, who also serves as a trustee and board chair of the foundation, said the idea is “to assist families in need, as well as those who pass away without family to honor them.”

More information on donation requests can be accessed at Donations are eligible for deceased residents of the states of New Hampshire and Vermont, and the donations will cover a range of costs, from transportation fees to a complete cremation.

Requests for distributions for a cremation or funeral 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 launch in 2020.

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