At Better Place Forests, our mission is to help everyone leave a meaningful legacy for the planet and the people they love. And we can think of no group more worthy of a resting place that reflects their legacy of sacrifice than the frontline heroes who have lost their lives caring for those infected with COVID-19. Today, we’re announcing our “Memorial Trees for Heroes” initiative to support the nation’s fallen frontline heroes in the COVID-19 pandemic.
Like most of the country, we’ve been inspired by the bravery of the frontline heroes who are risking their lives every day to help victims of this virus. Some have courageously traveled from afar to COVID-impacted cities. Some have tragically lost their patients, no matter how urgent or drastic their efforts were to save them. Others have even distanced themselves from their own families. Finally, on top of all that our heroes have had to endure, we’re devastated to read that healthcare workers make up approximately 20% of the U.S. COVID-19 cases — and that some of these brave heroes have died from this virus.
For those fallen heroes who’ve paid the ultimate sacrifice, we want to help their families and loved ones in honoring their legacies by offering memorial trees and ceremonies at no cost. To do this, we’ve dedicated $1M of memorial trees that families can choose for their fallen heroes -- healthcare providers, hospital employees, nursing home and hospice caregivers, EMTs, police force members, and firefighters across the U.S who’ve passed away from COVID-19.
We’ll start by offering memorial trees and ceremonies in our Point Arena forest in Mendocino County, California – at no cost. Our customers choose Better Place Forests for deeply personal reasons: our stunning locations, a more personal memorial option, or a beautiful place for loved ones to reflect. Families can know that their hero will spend forever in a serene, peaceful forest overlooking the Pacific, surrounded by towering Redwoods and Tanoaks.
For those on the East Coast looking for a forest nearer to home, we’re working closely with local communities and stakeholders in New York to extend this offering to a forest near New York City as quickly as we can.
My desire to help these families comes from my own loss. I lost my parents when I was very young. There are memories that stick with you. I will never forget their burial ceremonies. And I will never forget the image of their grave. These are memories that have never faded with time, and I wish that they were more beautiful. We started Better Place Forests so that families could have the choice of somewhere beautiful. I’m proud that we can offer this to the families of frontline heroes who gave their lives to protect ours.
Even though we know it will not take away the pain and grief of losing someone they love, we hope to provide some peace of mind in any small way we can. We hope that the image of that beautiful place can be one of the memories they think of when they remember their hero.
We’d love your help spreading the word about Memorial Trees for Heroes by sharing our posts on Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn. We want to make sure all frontline heroes know their loved ones can turn to us should the unthinkable happen.
Thank you to our frontline heroes and their families for the sacrifices they’ve made.
Co-founder and CEO of Better Place Forests