Minnesota funeral home offers balloon messages in place of attendees amid pandemic

A funeral home in Annandale, Minnesota found a unique way to add a sense of presence during the COVID-19 pandemic.

A Minnesota funeral home found a unique way to better connect loved ones who are unable to attend services due to COVID-19.

Dingmann Funeral Care Burial & Cremation Service in Annandale is asking those who can’t attend to submit a message online, which an employee will then attach to a balloon on a chair for the funeral service. The funeral home is calling the service "Hugs from the Heart." People can submit their message on the form online, call or email the funeral home.

Currently, 10 people or fewer are allowed to physically attend each service.

According to Brian Dingmann, the Hugs from the Heart program "gives the families some sense of the crowd that would otherwise have been there."