Mission & History

Our Mission

TCMFS empowers people to find after death arrangements reflecting their personal values and financial resources.

Our Vision

The TCMFS envisions a future where everyone has access to after death arrangements that are meaningful, culturally appropriate, reflect personal values and fit their financial resources. Through education, advocacy and providing objective facts, The Tri-County Memorial Funeral Society, a non-profit organization, offers its members and the broader community resources for planning end-of-life decisions and information about consumer rights that can reduce the confusion and exploitation of survivors.

Things We Do

  • We provide an online comparison of funeral prices and services
  • We disseminate information regarding consumer rights
  • We offer education on end of life options for cremation, burial or alternative means of disposing of the body
  • We sponsor workshops for individuals
  • We share information with faith leaders
  • We refer people to grief resources
  • We offer funeral planning resources
  • We monitor local and national industry trends
  • We advocate for consumer protections
  • We connect organizations with speakers on end of life issues
  • We give our members an assurance that they will not be upsold at a funeral home
  • We develop relationships with service providers who may offer discounts to our members.

Things We Don’t Do
(We Are NOT a Funeral Home or Cemetery)

  • We provide an online comparison of funeral prices and services
  • We disseminate information regarding consumer rights
  • We offer education on end of life options for cremation, burial or alternative means of disposing of the body
  • We sponsor workshops for individuals
  • We share information with faith leaders
  • We refer people to grief resources
  • We offer funeral planning resources
  • We monitor local and national industry trends
  • We advocate for consumer protections
  • We connect organizations with speakers on end of life issues
  • We give our members an assurance that they will not be upsold at a funeral home
  • We develop relationships with service providers who may offer discounts to our members.

We support pre-planning and discourage pre-paying.

Our History, Briefly

In the Beginning

Most people don’t think a lot about funerals and the like until they have to. And when the need arises, they are often upset and vulnerable.

The for-profit funeral industry has learned to take advantage of this vulnerability and often convinces consumers to buy services they may not need or want, and too often, services that cost more than they can afford.

The Funeral Consumer Alliance movement in the United States began in 1939 in Washington state. It has now grown to a nationwide group of affiliated organizations all across the country.

In 1962 the Tri-County Memorial Funeral Society (TCMFS) was formed to serve the residents of Orange, Riverside, and San Bernardino counties in California.

The TCMFS grew to have several thousand members and provided great help to them in their times of need by publishing accurate information on what services were available and at what cost from various providers in our counties. And, where possible, they negotiated special member discounts on those services. They also helped people learn what their rights are as consumers, to lessen the possibility that some unscrupulous salesperson might take advantage of them.

A Crisis Moment

But in 2019 the TCMFS nearly died. Two volunteers from the Funeral Consumer Alliance of California (FCA-CA) stepped in to help the members of TCMFS decide what to do. They called a meeting in October and explained to the roughly 40 members who showed up that they had a choice to make: (1) let TCMFS die; (2) try to merge it with a nearby Funeral Consumer Alliance affiliated organization; or (3) try to revive the TCMFS as a standalone organization, affiliated with and supported by the FCA-CA volunteers. The group chose the third option.

That meant volunteers were needed to constitute a newly formed Board of Directors. Six people agreed to serve in various capacities on that Board. And in the intervening year, we’ve done a lot. The first task was to learn about FCA affiliates and what they do and how. Next was to update our bylaws. And to search out up-to-date information on which companies offered what services and at what cost.

Our current website is a temporary replacement for the previous website (which was seriously out of date), and it is still a work-in-progress. Finishing it is one important task the Board faces, and for which they seek help from other members.

Our Board of Directors

Click here to see our present Board of Directors and the various open tasks for which we need new volunteers.

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