Not having his father’s words of encouragement or a letter that could be shared with his new family prompted Hunt to find a way others could connect to their loved ones weeks, months, even years after they had passed. Des Moines-based Heavenly Hellos made its debut in May 2011, acting as a portal for the dead to reach out to the living.
The four-step process includes becoming a member, creating ‘keepsakes’, notification of the member passing, and delivering of the keepsakes.
Keepsakes consist of letters, videos, and DVD photo albums created by the member to be given to family and friends upon their death. Each keepsake is kept secure and confidential. The only person viewing the files will be the member and, eventually, the recipients. Notification of the member’s passing is provided by two people selected by the member called ‘keepers.’ A keeper is someone whom the member trusts to notify Heavenly Hellos of their passing.
Members can choose from the Starter, Deluxe, Premium and Celebration of Life packages that offer varying quantities of deliverable keepsakes. All keepsakes are uploaded to the Heavenly Hellos website, securely stored and then upon notification, letters will be printed and sealed, and video and photo album DVDs are downloaded and burned. Each keepsake is labeled with the person’s name it is intended for and a date or event when it should be opened.
“So often people think about the financial consequences of their death, but tend to neglect the emotional aspects,” Hunt said. “We help comfort people.”
A noteworthy program, Heavenly Hellos Heroes, kicked off last week, and offers any current or past military, police, fire, or EMS individual located within the continental U.S. a free starter package valued at $49.99. “They’re called heroes for a reason. They defend our country on a daily basis and we wanted to offer this program free of charge,” explains Hunt. More information, or to enroll in the Heavenly Hellos Heroes program, can be found here.
Hunt agreed that people could attempt to create, store, and deliver their mementos themselves, but advises against it. “There’s no guarantee your final messages will be there in the end, with our company there is a guarantee your words and pictures will arrive on the life events you specify for your loved ones.”
“We’re a niche player. There’s companies out there that offer to send emails, but we’re the only ones printing and burning hard copies. It’s a more personal approach and worth having that kind of closure from an emotional standpoint,” said Hunt.
Members can look for a mobile app to come out in early 2012. It will allow users to upload pictures and videos to the website.