FOWLERVILLE, Mich. (WLNS) — A Fowlerville mother is helping others who have suddenly lost loved ones.
Cindy Salfate started a non-profit to help raise money for families who cannot afford headstones.
“It changed my world all around, my life will never be the same,” said Salfate.
Cindy Salfate’s son Oliver was 28-years-old when he died back in 2021 of a brain aneurysm.
“I couldn’t say Oliver’s name without crying,” Salfate continued.
To make matters worse, Oliver only had $2,000 worth of life insurance.
“So with the help of friends and family, we were able to get Oliver the service that he deserved, as well as a headstone,” Salfate said.
She went to therapy and joined support groups, but the grief persisted.
On a trip to the cemetery one day, Cindy, her husband, and her daughter found a different way to heal.
“My husband noticed that someone near Oliver didn’t have his headstone, and he made the off-the-cuff choice like ‘Hey, maybe we should get him a headstone,'” Cindy recalled.
So, they started Oliver’s Stones in May 2022.
The goal is to buy headstones for families who are not financially prepared for loss.
“It has helped me heal with Oliver’s Stones where I can provide that opportunity to other families to have a place to go, a place to grieve,” Salfate said.
Oliver’s Stones has benefitted families like the Ferris’.
“Cindy’s organization is like a godsend,” said Allen Ferris.
The Durand family lost their son and brother Adam in June 2022. Adam never got a headstone, but will have one soon thanks to Oliver’s Stones.
“We barely could even afford the funeral, it was very unexpected,” said Allen Ferris.
Cindy said that even though the loss still hurts, she knows Oliver would love what his family has done for others.
Chapel Hill Memorial in Lansing donated three cemetery plots to Oliver’s Stones, so if your family needs help, or if you’d like to help, click here.