babyMaternity Magazine
Creative Child

9 Ways to Support a Family in Need

by Sarah Lyons

When a friend is struggling through a difficult time, it is natural to want to lend a hand. Often the families that need the most help are reluctant to ask for it, which makes it hard to know exactly how to help a friend. Here’s nine ideas to show your support:

Bring a meal

This is an age old idea. When a parent is not able to cook a meal for their family as usual, friends and family often send versatile casseroles like lasagna. Try thinking outside the 13x9 pan. Why not bring the family the fixings for breakfast and lunch rather than just dinner?. Stock the freezer with easy, ready to make items like pizza, pasta dishes, soups and crock pot meals. Then the family can pull something out of the freezer when they are not up for cooking. Crunched for time or don’t feel like making an extra meal? Bring the family their favorite take out or send a gift card.

Set up a meal train

When one meal just doesn’t cover it, set up a meal train using websites like www.signupgenius.com or www.takethemameal.com. Discuss with the family the most convenient dates and times to deliver meals and solicit friends to fill all the open spots.  Social media is a great place to recruit people you might not think to ask.

Offer to babysit

Show support by offering to babysit, even if it’s just for a couple hours. If you are taking your own children to the park, swing by and pick up their children for the afternoon. This gets them out of the house and gives the parents a break.

Help with pets

Kids aren’t the only family members that need attention. If the family is making trips to the doctor or hospital, offer to feed the cat or walk the dog while they are out. This will help ease the mind of the family and give them peace of mind while they focus on what is important.

Clean the house

Sweep the floor, change laundry loads, vacuum, do dishes, or fold some laundry. Even a little bit of picking up can make a big difference. A clean house during chaos can bring some much needed peace during a chaotic time.

Run errands

If you are on your way to the store anyway, why not send a quick text and ask if the family needs anything - toilet paper, diapers, or snacks? Does mom want a coffee or some lunch? Many grocery stores offer drive through pick up these days. Have the family order and pay for groceries online, then pick them up and deliver them.  Offering to help put them away would be an extra bonus.

Leave a surprise on the doorstep

If the family is not up for visitors, leave a surprise on the doorstep for them. You can create a care package with special treats, magazines, snacks, and a card. A delivery of flowers is another great way to cheer them up without interrupting family time.

 

Listen

Sometimes a long talk is very therapeutic. When you visit, listen attentively and offer your support. Call and check on them, even if you just leave a voicemail. In these times of texts and emails, receiving a phone call shows you will go the extra mile to support a friend. However, even an email or text shows you are offering support while leaving it in their hands to respond when the time is right.

When a family is walking through a difficult time it may be hard for them to ask for help or even recognize what would be helpful. These ideas are sure to make any family feel supported and loved.

 

Sarah Lyons is a stay at home wife and mother of six children, including 18 month old triplets. Using creative consequences with her kids has improved their behavior and encourages healthy relationships with each other.

You might also like.

facebook
Hit "Like" to see babyMaternity on Facebook
Thanks, hide this for now.