Monday, January 13, 2014

Friends, Funeral home and Cemetery help with burial expenses for Allentown, Pa teen.

Woodlawn Memorial Park, Weber Funeral Home and Allentown, Pa. teachers donate services, money and time for Charangelo Wilson.

A dearly beloved student in the Allentown Pa’s School District's alternative education program lost his yearlong battle with leukemia. friends and district staffers are rallying to help his family with funeral expenses.

Charangelo Wilson lost his battle with cancer.

Charangelo Wilson, 18, who was enrolled in the IBEAM Academy, died last Tuesday. He had been discharged from Lehigh Valley Hospital-Cedar Crest just before Thanksgiving but his health worsened and he was readmitted back, sadly on Christmas Day.

Charangelo Wilson, had already lost his mother and grandmother to cancer. His older brother, Charkeem, also died two years ago at age 21. The rest of the family had no insurance or other means to afford a funeral.

Wilson’s English teacher comes forward to help the family.

Wilson's English teacher, Jennifer Bennis, having heard the families’ plight stepped in to help. Bennis buried her own mother and aunt at Woodlawn Memorial Park in Allentown, and she knew the cemetery's director, Lisa Snyder.

Bennis asked for help and Snyder responded in a way that exceeded her expectations. She donated a burial plot of the Wilson family's choice. She also donated the burial vault, the outer burial chamber that is required to hold the casket. And she waived the fees for opening and closing of the grave.

Those items and fees would normally cost $5,000.

The funeral home reduces costs drastically.

Synder also contacted Weber Funeral Home in Allentown, which is owned by the same parent company as Woodlawn, Stonemor who agreeded to perform the funeral service at a reduced rate of $1,600.

"I don't want anyone not to be buried or reverently remembered because they don't have the money," Snyder said Friday. "I waived everything here and then worked together with our funeral home, and that's where it stands."

Wilson was buried at 9:30 a.m. Monday with a graveside service at Woodlawn, 1500 Airport Road. Following the burial, a memorial service was held at the 3rd Day Worship Center Church in Allentown.

The family continues to need support and funds for the funeral.

Snyder said Wilson had a strong Christian faith and faced his situation bravely, though family members on the Facebook page said he was depressed at times.

"There was a time when he was not feeling well where all he wanted was people to write him letters," Snyder said.

His friends responded, and Wilson spent his last days reading letters of support.

Bennis is continuing to raise money for the Wilson family to pay the $1,600. We will be starting a donation campaign on later this week.

Nancy Burban 2014

Funeral fund

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