EL PASO, Texas-- Operation Hope has been giving back to the El Paso community for over twenty years now.
For the past several years they've assisted families in paying for funeral expenses, but now the nonprofit organization is asking for the communities help as the need for funeral services are increasing due to Covid-19 related deaths.
"It's getting harder not only for me, for Operation Hope, but it's getting harder for funeral directors also," Said Angel Gomez, Co-founder of Operation Hope.
After the August 3rd shooting last year, Operation Hope gathered with local funeral homes to assist families of victims with any funeral expenses needed.
"We went on to say that we will be observing the cost for the people that have been killed and that's when we proceeded to do all 23 victims no charge," said Gomez.
However, in recent months as Covid-19 related deaths began to increase so did the need for assistance with funeral expenses.
"I got with some funeral homes and I was explaining to them that people aren't working here in El Paso and if they were they're working half time so they can't afford funeral costs," said Gomez.
Operation Hope began working with six local funeral homes, but in late June some funeral homes had to back out due to health concerns.
"So now we're only limited to about three funeral homes that are still honoring the price that they gave us back in February," said Gomez.
He urges families in need of funeral assistance to contact Operation Hope before they reach out to funeral homes so the organization can plan service fees on the families behalf.
People can also make donations to Operation Hope through their website: ephope.com/contact-us
The organization is also asking for local businesses that can offer their services for free to join Operation Hope in continuing to assist families in need during these difficult times.
"We've never done any interviews asking people for help, but this time we're asking people if they can help us to help them. That's all were asking for," he said.