Dec 22, 2020
As we welcome the Christmas season here at ASD, we wish you and your family the same excitement and joy we feel during this time of year. Still, we understand there may be many of you may be having trouble getting into the spirit of things after such a tumultuous year. For funeral directors across America, 2020 has been a difficult and trying test in every way imaginable. While most people will enjoy a respite from pandemic-related stress during the holiday season, funeral professionals can’t simply take a break. Even before the coronavirus reached our shores, directors dealt with many responsibilities this time of year and with even less time than usual to complete tasks.
Despite these difficulties, funeral professionals go above and beyond to make the holidays brighter for those in their community, even during these challenging times. We have seen story after story about funeral homes across the country adapting their normal holiday services and traditions to accommodate pandemic restrictions. We commend all of the funeral professionals out there who have extended themselves in so many ways to make Christmas brighter for others.
From moving remembrance trees outside for the public to safely visit, to holding virtual holiday services, to mailing out personalized ornaments to families who can’t pick them up, funeral directors have stepped up in so many ways in an effort to bring comfort to others at Christmastime. In each one of these articles, there is always a quote from a funeral director explaining how after a year like this, it was even more important for them to show support to their community. In so many ways, funeral directors are truly the unsung heroes of the holidays. Click on the image below to learn more about all the ways funeral homes are helping others this year. We hope their stories inspire you.
We’ll Be Here For Christmas, You Can Count On Us
ASD understands that being on call on Christmas is a reality for many funeral directors. We realize that the time you have with your family is often interrupted so you can help others in their time of need. But just because you must be available at all times does not mean you should have to be interrupted with every incoming call your funeral home receives on such an important day. As usual, ASD will have staff available 24-hours a day to assist you. We can screen your calls according to your specific preferences and contact you only if a death or urgent situation occurs. With the upcoming holiday approaching, our goal is to provide you with the peace of mind you need to spend this special time with friends and family.
The days of feeling caged by your phone lines during the Ugly Christmas Sweater Contest WinnersChristmas season are over. ASD is here to set you free.
With so much on your plate, it can be a challenge to carve out time to spend with your loved ones enjoying holiday traditions like baking, shopping for gifts and watching Christmas classics. Here at ASD, our goal is to provide you with the peace of mind you need to spend this special time with friends and family. Let us give you the gift of more freedom this holiday season. Click on the image below for some of our tips for helping you enjoy this magical time without interruption.
At ASD, we don’t start talking about Christmas a week or two before the day arrives…we begin looking ahead more than a month in advance. With responsive plans and a close eye on the upcoming schedule, we can forecast well ahead of every holiday to provide the most consistent and reliable service available. Christmas, New Years Day and the entire holiday season is fully staffed with back up support so you can enjoy those days knowing that your phones are protected. Our employees are committed to working on the holidays, which is why last year on Christmas Day we answered 94 percent of all calls on the first ring and 99 percent by the fourth ring. Every year, we create a special holiday schedule that includes all of our Call Specialists. While our operators work shorter shifts, scheduling everyone increases the overlap of employees to ensure our office is never under staffed.
We understand holidays may impact how you respond to your messages. Our custom-built systems allow us to update your ASD account based on your needs any time, day or night. Please let us know if you have any special On-Call schedules for the upcoming holidays. We have systems in place to assure you are only being contacted for messages of the utmost importance to you.
These calls include:
► Death Calls Prearrangements & Pricing
► Families calling regarding current services
► Near Death situations
► Calls from other Funeral Homes
► Anyone requesting an immediate call back
If you would like to be called ONLY for the situations listed above, please advise our Call Specialist when checking out that you should be reached for CODE YELLOW calls. All other calls will be available via the website, mobile app & voicemail system. If you have any questions or would like to customize your holiday instructions, please contact ASD Supervision 24/7 at 800-868-9950, fax instructions to 800-595-3956 or email operations@myASD.com. You can also click here to learn more about the different checkout options we provide to meet your changing needs.
ASD Has Your Back This Winter
With more than 90% of our staff currently working from home, ASD has taken measures to greatly expand our company’s remote capabilities in response to COVID-19. Our remote office model has evolved in recent months to help our company to better meet the challenges brought on by the pandemic. ASD’s leadership team has never stopped working to enhance our systems, training, and quality control measures. We have taken many steps to ensure our clients are not in any way impacted by our switch to a work-from-home model.
Knowing this pandemic could likely increase our clients’ needs heading into the winter, ASD has taken measures to ensure our level of service remains consistent. This includes continually growing our team to ensure calls are answered promptly, routinely evaluating calls for quality assurance and expanding our bandwidth capabilities to support the increased number of our employees working remotely. Our in-house technical team has worked tirelessly upgrading computer hardware and software along with implementing many custom improvements to our system at large to handle COVID-related requests.
Click here to learn more.
ASD’s Owners Surprise Staff with Special Holiday Dinner
This month, ASD’s owners brought Christmas cheer to our incredible staff with a delicious delivery. To show appreciation for all of their hard work over the past year and to celebrate the holiday season, every ASD employee was sent a HUGE family meal of chicken parmesan, penne pasta and fresh baked bread from one of our favorite local restaurants, DiFabio’s Market & Tap in Media PA (What you see pictured is less than half of the food that was sent to each one of our staff!) What a beautiful way to show love and appreciation to your employees while also supporting a wonderful local business.
Click here to learn more about all the different ways ASD has supported its staff through the pandemic.
Meet Team ASD’s Newest Additions!
In a year that was often defined by tragedy, nine beautiful and perfect babies were delivered safely into the world by Team ASD mamas. Their sweet, innocent faces are a reminder that there is so much to be grateful for even when faced with so much loss. There is no question that 2020 has been an unimaginably difficult year for our entire country. Yet, as the final curtain falls on this year, it is important to focus on the blessings we have also found and the adversaries we have overcome.
Top Row: Operations Supervisor Emily Landry’s daughter, Skylar; Operations Manager Lori Meehan and National Sales Manager Craig Meehan’s son, Benjamin; Senior Call Specialist Aenslie Rodriguez’s daughter, Giuliana Rose. Middle Row: Training Specialist Ariana Rivera Ocampo’s daughter, Leonie; Operations Supervisor Lauren Fisher’s son, Carter; Public Relations Specialist Jessica Farren’s daughter Jade. Bottom Row: Operations Supervisor Josie Miller’s daughter, Norah; Senior Call Specialist Sarahbell Lawton’s son, Nolan; Call Specialist Amanda Ervin’s daughter, Dillyn Paige.
Funeral Homes Deck the Halls
It was love at frost sight when we saw these photos of funeral homes all decked out for the holiday season. When it comes to decorating for Christmas, these guys are sleigh-in it! Clockwise from the top left: Chiampa Funeral Home Sumner House in Shrewsbury, MA; Hanneman Family Funeral Homes & Crematory in Bowling Green OH; F. Ruggiero & Sons Funeral Home in Yonkers, NY; Paul R. Young Funeral Homes in Mt. Healthy, OH & Traunero Funeral Home and Crematory in Tiffin, OH.
A Tribute To Funeral Director Santas
ASD is shining a red and green spotlight on a few funeral directors that definitely deserve to be on the nice list. These Kris Kringles bring smiles and Christmas joy to their communities by trading in their funeral director apparel to don Santa’s famous red suit. To be a funeral director, one must be able to wear many hats and manage multiple tasks at once. So it’s no surprise that these funeral directors are able to step into the big man’s shoes and take on the role of St. Nick! (Featured: Todd Wilson of Wilson Family Funeral Home in Minneapolis, KS, John Condon of John P Condon Funeral Home in Leonardo, NJ, Todd Harra of McCrery and Harra Funeral Home in Wilmington, DE and David Fry of Fry Funeral Home in Tipton, IA.
12 Days of Christmas: Funeral Home Remix
We rewrote the “12 Days of Christmas” to apply to a typical day in the life of a funeral director. Hope you enjoy!
ASD’s #FuneralDirectorFacts Holiday Image Shared More than 250,000 times on Social Media
An information graphic created by ASD has certainly struck a cord with thousands of funeral directors on social media. The image was created to spotlight the sacrifices made by funeral directors who work on-call during holidays to provide support to their communities. Many people outside of the profession are unaware of the many ways funeral professionals devote themselves to others. ASD shares #FuneralDirectorFacts to help educate others about the dedication of directors. Each fact focuses on a different way funeral directors go beyond the call of duty to serve families.
With Christmas approaching, many funeral directors are prepared to miss holiday celebrations at home if a family in need requires their services. ASD wanted to highlight this sacrifice and create an information graphic that funeral directors could feel proud to share. We are thrilled that so many funeral professionals have related to our #FuneralDirectorFacts. The graphic has now been shared online more than 255,000 times! Watching a positive funeral director image go viral is a thrill for us at ASD.
From everyone here at ASD, we extend to you our blessings for a joyous Christmas and prosperous New Year! We hope you enjoy every magical moment of the holiday season with confidence knowing your phones are always protected. Please don’t hesitate to let us know if there is anything we can do to make the holidays brighter for you and your family. Our supervisors are available 24/7 to make any changes or updates.
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 Jess@myASD.com