NAU alumnus creates Facebook memorial application
By Sara Weber
Facebook can now be utilized as a memorial service for those looking to celebrate the lives of their loved ones as a result of a creation by Northern Arizona University (NAU) alumnus Russ Hearl. Hearl’s application, Evertalk, allows users to create a tribute page to those they have lost, as well as collect donations.
The app was launched July 3 and has since garnered over 1,500 likes on Facebook.
Hearl, CEO and co-founder of Evertalk, was inspired to create a more modern and efficient way of alerting friends and family of a peer’s passing.
“Evertalk came about one day when I was on Facebook and [saw] a friend of mine who I went to high school with had passed away,” Hearl said. “I saw the post from a mutual friend of ours in my news feed, so I went to his page and found out that he had actually passed away three weeks ago. It was really at that moment that I was like, ‘Hey, there really should be a better way in this day and age.’ That was the genesis of the idea.”
The app offers users various options for layouts and can be set up in minutes.
“The process is: you write the biography, you upload photos, you determine whether or not you want a fundraising campaign, you could associate a video to your page if you want to, then you publish it,” Hearl said. “Simultaneously, when you set up a page, you could also arrange a fundraiser campaign. A lot of times, people need to raise money for different things. It could be for a special cause, it could be for a memorial site, to pay for hospital bills left behind; there are a lot of reasons. You can set all of that up on Evertalk.”
NAU fund coordinator, Abraham Kelley, acknowledged the benefits of using social media campaigns like Evertalk.
“We are definitely looking at using social media to expand our fundraising efforts,” Kelley said. “I think especially with the younger generations, you guys look at everything in social media through Twitter and Facebook. We would have to sit down and have meetings to discuss before proceeding to do anything like that; I think it’s a good idea to look into it and utilize those tools if you can.”
Hearl encourages NAU students to explore Evertalk for their fundraising and commemorative needs.
“I think that if, you know, I had this when I was a student at NAU, I can recall some professors that really had a major impact on me in a positive way,” Hearl said of his hotel and restaurant management professors. “I could see myself creating tribute pages for those professors because they were really mentors of mine . . . Students can also use it to raise money for various causes.”