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Angel Tree Program & ConnectingDirectors Article: ASD Weekly News

Nov 29, 2012

ASD’s Angel Tree Program

It’s that time of year again! ASD is currently collecting gifts for the Angel Tree Program, which benefits Children’s Choice, Inc, a nonprofit welfare agency for domestic adoption and foster children.

ASD employees will purchase a present for a child who might otherwise not receive any. Employees can select a paper angel with a child’s name, age and his or her Christmas list. Last year, ASD employees donated over fifty gifts to the program.

ASD Helps Family To Reunite After 50 Years

Sometimes, a simple message has the power to transform the course of your life. That was the case for John Alban, Funeral Director of E. Alvin Small Funeral Homes & Crematory located in Colonial Heights, VA. When ASD Call Specialist Annette answered his funeral home’s phone line early Monday morning, she didn’t know that the message she was about to take could have such a profound impact on the funeral director. may have been fate that Annette was working that morning. As one of ASD’s bi-lingual Call Specialists, Annette is fluent in Spanish and also understands a great deal of Italian. So when a woman called from Italy with an urgent message for John Alban, Annette was there to answer and could easily translate the call.

Later that day, ASD found out from the funeral home that the caller was John’s biological mother who had given him up for adoption over 50 years ago. She was living in Italy but had never stopped searching for John. Now, because of this call, John and his mother will be reunited after five decades apart! Click here to read more about this story.

“You Can’t Un-Answer A Call”

When you watch a show like Bridezilla and see brides-to-be having a meltdown over a scuff mark on the floor, it’s obvious how stressful planning a milestone event can be for everyone involved. Every minor detail and worst case scenario must be considered. For funeral directors, this pressure is compounded by the short window of time and the emotional intensity of planning a funeral. When the memory of a person is at stake, the grief that loved ones feel is often exacerbated by the burden of having to plan such an important event in so little time. It is often the case that the funeral director will bear the brunt of this frustration to help remove some of the tension from the family.

Click here to read the rest of ASD Family-Member Owner Kevin Czachor’s article in the Contributor section of

ASD’s “Sensitive Save of the Week” Winner!

This week, our Senior Call Specialist Darlene answered a call from a gentleman who only wanted the funeral home’s office hours. Darlene relayed the information and then informed the caller that a director was on call and always available. This surprised the caller who assumed the funeral home would be unreachable after hours. Darlene was able to gather his name and determined that his mother was close to passing. While the caller didn’t think his call was urgent, the funeral director on call wanted to be contacted for anything regarding Pre-Planning. Darlene made sure the caller knew his needs were of high importance to the funeral home and the caller then provided his contact information for the director to call him right back. Darlene is this week’s “Sensitive Save of the Week” Winner

Click here to see last week’s winner.

Blog Updates

We updated our blog this week with enhanced navigational tools and new ways to interactive with ASD. If you look to the left you will see six tags listed. These tags will help you to explore earlier blog posts by ASD easier and faster. We also added a new Facebook comment box at the end of each post so you can leave a comment using your Facebook handle. Try it out and let us know what you think!


About The Author

Jess Farren (Fowler)

Jess Farren (Fowler) is a Public Relations Specialist and Staff Writer who has been a part of the ASD team since 2003. Jess manages ASD’s company blog and has been published in several funeral trade magazines. She has written articles on a variety of subjects including communication, business planning, technology, marketing and funeral trends. You can contact Jess directly at

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