Friday, April 19, 2013

A Wonderful Web Site: www.TakeThemAMeal.Com

 Take Them A Meal

A few years ago, when Doug had surgery, a dear friend from church offered to arrange to have dinners delivered to our house for a week or so after he came home.  I was six months pregnant with my daughter at the time.  My boys were still attending a public elementary school.  Life was busy and taking care of a recuperating husband just added to that mile-long list of things I had to accomplish every day.  Having dinner delivered in the evenings made my day a little bit easier.

Months later, this same dear friend was stepping out of her role as the Meal Coordinator for our church.  She told me that she'd been praying about who to ask and she wanted to know if I would like to lead this ministry.  Knowing what a blessing it had been for my family months earlier, I was delighted to be able to do this for other families in our church.

I was given a list of names and phone numbers of people, mostly women, in our church who had agreed to prepare meals for families in our congregation who were hospitalized, had just given birth, had just lost a loved one, or who were going through a difficult time in their lives. Now, I am not a phone person whatsoever.  I only talk on the phone when it is absolutely necessary.  I prefer email or face-to-face conversations.  My husband and I don't even have cell phones. (We do have TracFones to communicate with our children when they are home alone and we're at the hospital or out and about.)  I wanted to lead this ministry and I knew that God would be honored by it, but I didn't enjoy calling people to ask them to make and deliver a meal to someone.  It just seemed very time-consuming to call person after person until I could reach someone who was available to take on this task.  I tried to come up with a more efficient way to fulfill this role as Meals Ministry Coordinator, but was unsuccessful and continued to use telephone calls to complete this task.

When a friend shared Take Them A Meal with me, I was thrilled! This web site enabled me to create a meal schedule for a family, including which days meals are needed.  I simply enter the details and send a single email that is received by all of the Meals Ministry volunteers.  This allows the volunteers to sign up and share what they are bringing so that the family receiving meals doesn't wind up with 12 pans of Lasagna.  I am able to provide details about what the family does and doesn't like to eat, any food allergies, what time they eat dinner, and how many people are in the family.  These details are helpful for the volunteers and keeps everything organized. 

The web site also sends out an automatic email to each volunteer the day before their meal is needed, reminding them that they have signed up and also what it is they signed up to bring.  Since it stores the email addresses of everyone I've sent emails to in the past, it takes just a few minutes for me to create a meal schedule for someone. 


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