BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - COVID-19 has claimed thousands of lives, often leaving families suddenly preparing for funerals they never expected to plan and facing the financial burdens that come with it. Community activist Tonja Myles and her husband Darren saw a unique need they could help meet.
“We started putting money aside to do that. Um, we would see on social media or we would see in the news that someone had died, and we would make contributions on the side. You know we didn’t want anybody to know unless it was something particular”, said Tonja.
Tonja and Darren know firsthand the loss that sudden death can bring both emotionally and financially.
“And so, this year we wanted to take it to a whole other level. My father-in-law, who I love dearly, he died in December and I just remembered how a lot that was for family members and so we wanted to specifically give to the mortuaries or the funeral homes so they can distribute the money the way they see fit”, said Tonja.
So, at a time when funeral services are sadly in high demand, the Myles donated $5000 to the Miller and Daughter Mortuary in Zachary where their friends Shelley Moore and her mom work together to carry on the family business.
“So, we spoke with them and they just wanted to help in whatever way they can. So, the way that we think we’re gonna do it is to kinda split it up between multiple families so that we’re able to reach the largest number of people to be able to help as many families as we can”, said Shelley.
Shelly Moore says during the pandemic they’ve been busier than ever and the donations from the Myles family are help for many families during a difficult time.
“It’s so funny people ask where the money comes from, you know my husband and I, we both work. And you know like I said we’ve been in ministry for a long time and we’ve always taken money from rental property, my husband’s cool about that he did that when he was like 19. And we put money aside to just give, we’ve always been givers...and that’s never gonna change”, said Tonja.
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