A Guide to Giving Sympathy Meals

A sympathy meal is one in which you provide to a family who’s suffered a loss, poor health conditions, or similar situation that may leave them feeling down and out. Whatever the reason for your search to give a sympathy meal to someone, this guide will provide you learn how to give a sympathy meal in a way that ensures it’s received with a big smile.

Sympathy Meals

Make a Main Meal

If you’re not up for making a huge meal to provide to a neighbor in need, then you should at least be sure to make the main meal forgiving. Something like a dish of lasagna or a casserole meal that’s more of a nourishing meal will be best.

Avoid Allergens

Make sure you take into consideration food items that others tend to be allergic to. A main meal that includes peanuts or gluten, for example, may not be well-suited for a sympathy meal. Be sure to include a main course meal that avoids common food allergens.

Avoid Strong Foods

Foods such as fish or olives, for example, are items that many will have a strong opinion about. Perhaps they don’t like the smell, taste, or texture. Make sure your main course meal being provided doesn’t have any ingredients that could be considered a strong food that is often disliked by people.

Prepped for Pop and Cook

Make sure that the main meal you are giving as a sympathy meal is made well enough so that the recipient can keep it frozen and then pop it in the oven and cook when ready. Place a little note on the main meal that provides instructions for oven temperature and length of time to cook.

Notify the Family

You’ll know best if it’s okay to disturb the family you’re providing the sympathy meal to or if it’s best to reach out to an extended family member. Make sure that you notify the family of when the meal will be delivered so that they are not being disturbed from anything important going on.

There are people in need all around us in our community. They may not speak up and they may be too prideful to ask for help. This guide to giving sympathy meals is meant to inspire you to give to others in need without making them feel less than worthy. These sympathy meals should be a gentle act of kindness as a means to establish the neighbor helping neighbor mentality in this world again.

Are You Participating in Giving Tuesday

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of GiveForward.


Do you participate in Black Friday or Cyber Monday? I went out around 8 on Black Friday and the crowds had died down significantly and unfortunately I spent all day sick on Cyber Monday so I missed out on those deals. Have you participated in Giving Tuesday yet?

In case you don’t know, Giving Tuesday takes place the Tuesday after Thanksgiving, December 2, 2014.  (Today!)  It’s a day for people to give of their time or money to a person or a cause that they care about.  …or even to a complete stranger.  That can be fun too!  Anything from writing a note of encouragement to someone who’s sick, paying for the person’s meal behind you at the drive thru, sending flowers to a stranger at the hospital, or you could even go online and find a GiveForward recipient who inspires you.

Making a difference in someone’s life is easier than you think.

If you’re looking for a needy family to give to today or throughout this holiday season I have a recommendation for you.

Shah's Fundraiser

The Shah family is fighting cancer in one of their young children.  It’s a truly heartbreaking story and you can go here to read more about it.  They are incurring huge medical bills because the insurance company is declining to pay for procedures which have already completed!  They certainly don’t need another worry while they have a young child fighting cancer.  They don’t need sympathy.  They need help.  I helped by donating myself and also by sharing their story.

The Giving Forward community is donating $10 to the Shah’s when someone shares their story on a blog post. Help where you can when you can.  If you have a blog you can also give in this way.

No matter how or who you give to today, let’s no longer be bystanders.  Let’s be active in cheerful giving. Give Forward!

5 Ways to Help Children Give to Others

“Parents are the number one influence on their children’s financial behaviors, so it’s up to us to raise a generation of mindful consumers, investors, savers, and givers,” says Beth Kobliner, author of the New York Times bestseller Get a Financial Life.  Here are a few ways I’ve thought of to help children learn the joy of giving.

1. Donate clothes.

Children grow like weeds so as they outgrow their clothes donate the ones in good condition to Goodwill, the Salvation Army or another organization that distributes clothes to the needy.  Allow children to be part of the donation process from picking which clothes to donate to dropping them off.

2. Help those around you.

Schedule service-oriented projects where your children will take part. You could bake cookies for local firefighters, rake the leaves of an elderly person or buy lunch and deliver it to a local homeless shelter.  There are so many ways to be generous if we’ll just take the time to look for them.

3. Make birthdays charitable.

Some people would go as far as to ask others to donate a used book or toy to a shelter in place of a birthday gift.  That’s fine but I like the idea of letting people buy a gift if they choose to or not and then making a special tradition of going out together and buying a “birthday gift” for another less fortunate child.  Have the child choose what type of gift and where it should be donated.  Children’s books could go to a doctor’s office, a coat could go to the homeless shelter, and their favorite action figures could go to a local family in need.  There are many different ways to give but no matter what you choose take photos of the day and keep a little journal of the ways your child gave to others on each birthday.  Those will be special memories to revisit on future birthdays.

4.  Sell to give.

If you have an older child you may want to help them list and sell their old DVDs, video games, collector items, etc. online and then once the item sells they can decide how they want to donate that money.  They could give it in the offering plate at church, give it anonymously to a needy family in the neighborhood, or use it to buy items to donate.  The options are really endless!

5. Include pets.

At regular intervals, buy dog/ cat food or kitty litter and take it to a local humane society.  You may even want to see if your child is allowed to spend some time with the recipients of the gift. These are just a few ways that I’ve came up with to help teach my daughter about giving and I would love to hear any of your ideas!! {See: 31 Days of Giving Challenge}