Saturday, August 22, 2009

Better Late than Never?

I found a package in my doorstep a couple of weeks ago marked "Not at this address."

This particular package was going to an out-of-town relative whose dear baby died at birth. I sent an email off to another relative to get the correct address, but didn't hear back until we had left on vacation.

So... now we are back from vacation and my dilemma is: Do I still send the package?

The funeral occurred clear back on Memorial Day weekend. I took a long time thinking about what I wanted to do - see why I need this site?! Then I took an even longer time to get to the post office. I mailed it July 8. Already over a month late.

Then the post office took a month to figure out I had an old address.

Then we went on vacation for 2 weeks.

So, what do you think? Should I mail it? Is this a case where the adage "better late than never" holds true?

What do you think is in the box?

Friday, August 21, 2009

Food Tidings

A hot meal is comforting to someone that is sick, grieving, or otherwise unable to make one for themselves.

But have you ever tried to schedule meals for someone? Especially if they need meals for more than a couple of days?

I just learned about a free online tool that will take the stress out of scheduling meals!

First, you have to figure out what the person needs, what they'll eat and won't eat, when they'll be there to receive the meal, etc. And, if you are like me, you don't think of all the questions the first time and you have to call the person back. "Oh, I forgot to ask....are you allergic to anything?"

This online tool provides a short questionnaire to make sure you ask all the right questions. The questions include things like what foods do you like? do you have any food allergies? as well as drop off location, time, and contact phone number.

Even if you don't use the website, go print off the questionnaire next time you plan meals for someone!

Then, you have to find people to take in the meals. Prepare to spend the evening on the phone! You'll be calling, leaving messages, getting callbacks... Pretty soon you can't remember who you've told what.

"Just calling to make sure I told you they are allergic to dairy."

"I'm confused. Are you doing Tuesday night or Thursday night?" gives you a link to the meal calendar. You can forward it on to friends and family that might be interested in helping. Or send emails directly from the site. Here's a sample meal schedule I put together.

And have you ever agreed to take in a meal to someone and then forgotten? I have. Ah, the embarrassment!

No longer because sends email reminders. I need that!!

I think this is a fantastic tool and I look forward to using it. Those signing up do have to create an account, though, so consider the computer savviness of your potential helpers.

I'd love to hear your experiences using this site. What do you like and/or dislike about it?

What was the best meal you ever received?

Have you, like me, ever forgotten to take in a meal you promised to take?