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US Cemetery Plot Donor Program 'Down Under'?


10 May 2004 at 1:05 pm
Staff Reporter
In the US an innovative Not for Profit has designed an unusual program called the 'Cemetery Plot Donor' program to help crime victim families afford funeral services. Only in America or a possibility in Australia?

Staff Reporter | 10 May 2004 at 1:05 pm


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US Cemetery Plot Donor Program 'Down Under'?
10 May 2004 at 1:05 pm

In the US an innovative Not for Profit has designed an unusual program called the ‘Cemetery Plot Donor’ program to help crime victim families afford funeral services. Only in America or a possibility in Australia?

The US Homicide Survivors Inc. is a NFP committed to helping families and friends who have lost a loved one to murder, by providing a wide array of services, including victim rights advocacy, criminal justice information, emotional support, trial accompaniment, and victim assistance.

The organisation says that when planning a funeral, the cemetery plot is one of the most expensive purchases required. A donated plot reduces the total cost of the funeral significantly. This allows victim’s families to have a dignified funeral service and provides them a place to visit their loved one.

So far, 146 cemetery plots have been donated across America, representing over $US248,000 worth of plots!

Both in the US and Australia it could be said that homicide is not a palatable topic for many people and raising money to assist victims of murder and manslaughter is a battle.

Queensland’s Homicide Victims’ Support Group knows only too well about finding funds for needy families who have lost someone to these crimes.

VSG CEO Bernadette Shanahan says the idea of a cemetery plot donor program would be wonderful considering the lack of government compensation in that state for needy families who have to find the cash to pay for a burial.

Shanahan says Queensland is by far the worst funded state. Victorian victims of serious crime can obtain up to $100,000 compensation and 20 hours of counselling. In NSW the figure is up to $50,000 as well as 20 hours of counselling.

But she says in Queensland the maximum compensation is $4000 and families can only apply for the reimbursement of expenses for funerals for example of up to $2000.

She says a Cemetery Plot Donor program would be a great benefit in Australia particularly if local Councils became involved and donated a certain number of plots from each cemetery in their municipality.

Maybe not such an unusual idea!



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