Today we’d like to introduce you to Jason Dyke.
So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
On April 28, 2017, our youngest son Carson, aged 11, passed away after hanging himself from a bedroom loft that I built him two Christmas’ prior. We were completely blindsided and didn’t have a clue as to why this was happening to our family or what we were supposed to do. As a couple in our mid-forties with three boys in 6th, 8th and 9th grade, we hadn’t chosen our own plots for burial much less made plans for where our children were to be buried. Parents aren’t supposed to have to do that or so many other things that we encountered in the first few days of this devastating journey. We were fortunate to have our family, friends and community surround us and help us through that horrible week. As we talked days after the funeral we realized how lucky we were to have our Village form around us and wondered if there was an organization out there to help others in our situation that may not have access to as many friends, family, and community members as we had. So as everyone does in this day and age, I Googled it. In my limited research, I was unable to find a non-profit organization that helped families in times of need like this. There were shades of help here and there, but not an advocate that would walk hand-in-hand with the family through the entire process. Then an idea was born. We could create a non-profit that would offer free services to help families navigate all of the things that needed to be done from the passing of their loved one to the funeral. And just like that, Carson’s Village was born. If we can help families through the most difficult time in their life with the lessons that we learned with Carson’s death, then his passing will not have been in vain. His spirit will live on. We hope that we can bring a little bit of light into a process that is very dark.
Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
The best and worst thing about Carson’s Village is that we are literally the first of its kind in the country. No one is doing what we are specifically doing. So while that uniqueness sets us apart from the crowd, it also makes it challenging to build brand awareness and market presence. Non-profits that start up to help feed the homeless, for example, don’t have to explain what they do. They just have to tell folks why they are better at it than other groups. We have to both explain what we do and then who we are. We don’t neatly fit into the current categories…health, education, animal, environmental or arts. So we just have to be diligent about telling everyone our story. Our time will come.
Please tell us about Carson’s Village.
We are the first of its kind in the county to assist families free of charge from the passing of a loved one to the funeral. I know that the funeral home is there to help, but some locations maybe more helpful than others. Carson’s Village is there to not only provide an unbiased opinion for the funeral process, but we also help with everything outside of the funeral process. We are able to accompany each family on one of the most difficult journeys they’ll ever have to experience from the first day (if possible). We are able to lay out what the upcoming days will potentially have in store and prepare them with the knowledge and resources necessary to make the hundreds of decisions that have to be made from the passing of their loved one to the funeral. The private family web page we create for them allows for a central location for monetary, food and service donations, as well as a communication hub for family and friends to stay organized and up to date.
Who else deserves the credit? Have you had mentors, supporters, cheerleaders, advocates, clients or teammates that have played a big role in your success or the success of the business? If so, who are they and what role did they plan/how did they help?
Carson’s Village was really inspired by both April and Jennifer Bartkowski. Jen stepped up the week Carson passed along with our other friends to help us out. She got us organized, coordinated all the nice folks that were trying to help us and even went to the funeral home with us to finalize everything. But that was only part of the inspiration.
Then it took April’s desire to take the lessons that we learned from the experience and put them on Facebook to help other families. When I saw her doing that it made me think. I started to wonder if there was an organization already helping families. That is when I identified the gap in family support that occurs that critical week from the passing of the loved one to the funeral.
- The service is free
- Website: www.carsonsvillage.org
- Phone: 877-789-0722
- Email: email@example.com
- Facebook: www.facebook.com/carsonsvillage