Funeral homes are an important part of any community. It's where loved ones put their trust and care to their loved ones who have passed on. It’s where families, friends, and the community say goodbye to someone they’ve held dear to them for decades. For Bartholomew Funeral Home, community care begins before the grieving process.
“We want the community to know we’re here to help. Not just when they come to us when they’re going through the grieving process and making funeral arrangements” said Bartholomew Funeral Home Director Michael Newhart
Throughout the year Bartholomew Funeral Home lends a hand to the community by volunteering their support and raising funds for various organizations throughout Porter County. One way the funeral home contributes is through Porter Starke Services. Each year Bartholomew participates in Porter Starke Service’s Annual Symposium.
“The theme of the Symposium changes every year. Topics usually include the services that Porter Starke provides, like substance abuse or mental health wellness. A few discussions we’ve had in past were on drug abuse and troubled teens,” Newhart continued, “Porter Starke is a great organization to contribute to, because you know they are making a difference every day.”
Bartholomew Funeral Home also put emphasis on public education of the resources available to those who are pre-planning their funerals. One of the major focuses for Bartholomew is on veteran’s burials. This can be a complicated process for veterans to sort through and organize. Bartholomew Funeral Home is often requested to speak at nursing homes throughout Valparaiso, as well as the Valparaiso Knights of Columbus chapter.
“When they request us, we don’t go there telling them they have to choose us to do their veteran burial. We’re only there to help guide them through a complicated process. The amount of paperwork and correct forms that need to be submitted can be very discouraging and we want those veterans and their families know the right steps to take.”
During Valparaiso’s highly trafficked Popcorn fest, close parking can be a rare commodity, especially for handicapped parking. To raise the number for handicapped parking spaces, Bartholomew Funeral Home lends out their parking lot entirely for handicapped parking during the festival.
“Valparaiso is a tight community that always lends a hand and seeks out people to help. This isn’t just me or my business, but all businesses in this community. We all want to make our corner of the world a better place and that starts with care for the people around you.”
Michael went on to comment that it takes a community to come together to make change happen. It cannot be a single person’s responsibility. Everyone needs to work together to make Valparaiso an ideal place to live.
“We all have to set an example. By doing that you set a certain way you hope others will follow. It takes the right kind of person and we’re lucky to have a lot of those people here in our community.”