Trey Ganem refused to be paid for the 19 hand-painted caskets (Picture: SoulShine Industries)
A Texas-based artist has donated caskets for victims of the Uvalde school shooting hand-painted with designs celebrating their tragically short lives.
Trey Ganem met with the families of 18 children and one of two teachers killed in the massacre at Robb Elementary School, nearly four hours away from his home town of Edna.
They came up with a series of unique designs paying homage to each victim’s favourite things, such as sports and Spider-man.
One unit made for 10-year-old Eliahna Torres is adorned with paintings referincing llamas, TikTok and softball.
Mr Ganem was initially offered the work as a contract from Texas Funeral Directors’ association but refused to charge for the caskets, which can cost up to $3,800 (£3,000) to make.
He purchased undecorated caskets from a Georgia-based company which worked for 20 hours straight to produce them and delivered them on Friday.
Mr Ganem and his 25-year-old son then worked ‘tirelessly’ over the weekend, painstakingly adding the designs by hand and reassembling the units.
The father told Buzzfeed News: ‘I take away something from every experience with a family because when they’re explaining stuff about their child, they light up.’
One young victim’s family told Mr Ganem he was a superman fan (Picture: SoulShine Industries)
The horrific tragedy claimed the lives of 18 children mostly aged around 10 (Picture: SoulShine Industries)
Eliahna Torres, 10, loved llamas, TikTok, softball and the colour pink (Picture: SoulShine Industries)
Mr Ganem enlisted colleagues and his son to get the coffins painted on time (Picture: SoulShine Industries)
His company, SoulShine Industries, has received some donations but footed the entire bill.
Speaking to CNN News, he added: ‘We don’t just put a vinyl wrap on top. We actually custom paint every single one.
‘We take the casket completely apart, and we paint the hardware, we paint the bars. The class and the passion that we put into these is bar none.’
‘I didn’t even think twice when I was asked to do it, and God always takes care of us.’
The massacre by Salvador Ramos claimed the lives of 18 children and two teachers (Picture: Reuters)
The Texas-based artist worked three days straight with his 15-year-old son (Picture: SoulShine Industries)
Ten-year-old Maite Rodriguez’ funeral was the second of the victims to take place this week
The artist was previously brought in to make caskets for many victims of the Sutherland Springs and Las Vegas mass shootings, which respectively claimed the lives of 26 and 61 people.
The first two services for victims of the Robb Elementary shoooting – Amerie Jo Garza and Maite Rodriguez – were held on Tuesday.
Hundreds of mourners turned up to pay their respects to each child, forcing a local church to turn some away after reaching capacity.
Visitations for one of the teachers, 48-year-old Irma Garcia, and two more children, Nevaeh Bravo and Jose Flores Jr, also took place on Tuesday.
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