Kennewick business owner uses store profits to buy headstones



A new Kennewick business owner is using her shop to help bring closure to local families who have lost loved ones over the years.

Dianne Sems Trenidad is using some of the profits from her recently-opened thrift shop to pay for headstones for people who don't have one.

Abelardo Montelongo, who died in 2004, was the first person to receive Trenidad's help.

This morning, Montelongo's family gathered at Desert Lawn Memorial Park in Kennewick for a headstone setting ceremony.

Montelongo never had a headstone, until Trenidad stepped up to help.

Trenidad says she got the idea to help others while she was walking through the cemetery and noticed that some people don't have headstones.

She says she felt compelled to help those families, and she's been working to do that ever since.

"There's so many that don't have them, and so I'm putting a little dent in this, and it feels great to do this" said Trenidad.

Trenidad knew Montelongo.

They worked together years ago at a Goodwill.

Once she found out he didn't have a headstone, she offered her help.

Trenidad says she wants to help out anyone who needs a headstone, not just people she knew.

She hopes Montelogo's headstone will be the first of many she will help set down.

Trenidad opened her thrift shop in Kennewick last November.

Her store is called Shop and Drop.

It is located on Clearwater Avenue behind the Sterling's Restaurant.