While we may not be able to be physically together right now, technology has granted us the ability to check in on members of our community. We recently had the opportunity to talk to our Entrepreneur of the Year Award of Wellness Winner, Stéphanie Côté, to see how her life and business has been affected due to the Coronavirus pandemic.
Stéphanie is the founder of Voluntas Commemoration, a funeral home in Dollard-des-Ormeaux. Founded in 2007, Côté wanted to offer additional gentle support to those mourning following the loss of a loved one. She received the Entrepreneur of the Year Award for Wellness from Artistri Sud at the 2020 Tales of Triumph Gala.
Like healthcare workers, Stéphanie and her team are essential front-line workers during this pandemic. Prior to the COVID-19 health crisis,her company had been working on launching a digital platform. Unfortunately, the process was not completed in time to operate fully online.
“In the past two months, I have been working hard not only to find new strategies for families to be able to coordinate a funeral service peacefully for their loved ones, but also to manage the anxiety of our employees who have to come into the office,” Stéphanie told us. She has since deployed new trainings and approaches aimed at reassuring her staff of their safety, by ensuring Voluntas Commemoration remains a safe environment by following strict safety and security protocols.
As a result, many arrangements have been made from distance via email. However, for families that wish to get more details, Stéphanie makes herself available to discuss arrangements over the phone.
“The fact that families are isolated and not being able to get the support they need when they are facing the deaths of loved ones is the saddest thing I’ve even seen”, shared Stéphanie. “The one positive thing that I hope will come out of this situation is the fact that what is going on in nursing homes will finally get the attention needed, and hopefully measures will be taken to ensure dignified care for our elders.”
The front of Voluntas, where Stéphanie has installed a banner to bring some support during this difficult time.
In order to keep a sense of balance, Stéphanie tries to stay active with daily walks of one hour or so. She also makes sure to spend time with her kids. “I try to stay healthy so that I can continue to help people the best way that I can in what is often one of the hardest times they have to go through.”
Stéphanie also shared with us a photo of the vegetable garden at Voluntas.
“In times of difficulties, I find planting a garden brings hope as every day you see the plants growing and transforming from a small seed into a tomato.”
We hope that you can find something in your life to remain hopeful for