Three Unimaginable Losses – How the Relief Fund Helped a Colleague When He Needed it Most

Losing a loved one is one of the most difficult things we face in life. Oppong Tabiri, a concierge with Planned Companies, experienced the unimaginable – the loss of three family members within two months of each other.

While coping with the grief and sorrow that comes with each passing, Oppong faced the additional challenge of arranging funerals for his mother and two brothers in Africa. Between the travel expenses and funeral costs, Oppong was facing a significant financial hardship.

Fortunately, the FirstService Relief Fund was created to help our team members during times like this. Oppong was able to apply for and receive a grant which helped him with travel and funeral expenses. The support from the Fund helped ease these financial burdens for him.

“It was really tough for me to bear alone the funeral costs of my mother and my brothers. The Relief Fund helped me organize befitting funerals,” said Oppong.

The death of an immediate family member is one of the most common reasons people apply for Relief Fund grants. The Fund defines “immediate family member” quite broadly to include spouses, parents, kids, siblings, grandparents, grandkids, and even extended family like aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, and in-laws. Eligible employees can apply for a grant that will aid them in covering the expenses incurred due to their immediate family member’s passing. These expenses include obvious ones like funeral costs and travel-related expenses, and also some that are less obvious including psychological counseling, unexpected child care costs or help for those unable to work as a result of the event. (For more information on the bereavement benefit, here’s a helpful article.)

We are grateful to Oppong for sharing his story with us, and are so sorry for the losses he has endured.

If you or someone you work with is facing a personal financial hardship, we encourage you to learn more about the FirstService Relief Fund.