Jim Paul of Williamsburg, Kentucky was just like any other funeral director working in his family firm until Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf Coast of the United States.

That’s when Jim’s life changed.

The Paul Family

While not directly affected by the horrible winds that destroyed so much of Louisiana and Mississippi, Jim volunteered with DMORT and the NFDA to provide counseling services to families in Baton Rouge, LA affected by the tragedy.

“During my three weeks there, I counseled 800 families, 200 of which had experienced a death (related to the storm),” says Jim.

Unhappy with the bureaucracy and ineffective assistance being offered to those in need, Jim returned home to mobilize his community.

Through his newly-formed charity, KEN-TENN Relief Team, Jim’s team has distributed more than $8 million worth of relief aid, building supplies and comfort items to folks in the ravaged areas.  And their work continues as families work to rebuild their lives and homes.

Jim Paul contacted me after reading my article, “Ten Ways to be Seen as a Community Contributor” in the January/February issue of Funeral Business Advisor.  He reports that his firm currently practices 9 of the 10 suggested community outreach activities.

Including #6:  Start a Foundation.

And Jim wants me to share that his firm does 60+ calls a year.  It just goes to show that you don’t need the resources of SCI or the clout of a 100-year-old family chain to influence your community and make a difference.