I imagine you've either heard of or actively participated in bringing a meal to a family who has recently given birth to a new baby. As someone who has been on the receiving end of such gifts, I can attest that this is a wonderful thing! Having ready-to-eat meals at your disposal with a new baby in the house is so much more useful than a cute new onesie. And this kind of gift is just as appreciated (if not more) by families who are welcoming their second or third (or more) baby.Wouldn't it be great if, instead of receiving the occasional meal here and there (and some on the same day) after baby is born, there was a way to allow friends and family to schedule their gifted meals, staggered throughout the first few weeks? Care Calendar and other similar free Web services like it (Meal Train, Feedin Mom Lotsa Helping Hands), are Web-based tools that allows you and your network of family, friends and colleagues to access a shared calendar and sign up for date, time and meal (or other service that helps a family in need, like babysitting, yard work, cleaning, etc.). The family in need can also view the calendar (and receive e-mail updates) to know when they will receive a meal. The Care Calendar is the perfect answer to the question (that many new moms and families hear), What can I do to help?If you are the mom or dad to be, and would like to be the recipient of such a service, set up your calendar and don't be shy in e-mailing the link to family and friends. Consider crafting a message like this:
With the upcoming birth of our baby approaching quickly, many of you have asked what we need or how you can help. We're so grateful to have such a thoughtful group of family and friends. What we would like most is help with meals after the baby is born. We have set up a Care Calendar at WEBSITE ADDRESS. This free service allows you to choose a date and time to deliver a meal after the baby is born. To access our calendar, please use the following login/code number: XXXX. Thanks for your offer to help! We look forward to sharing our new little life with you.If you are a friend of an expecting family, consider setting up a calendar for them. Share the calendar with their network and invite them to participate. Don't limit the e-mail to only local people; friends and family who live out of town can help by purchasing a meal from a local delivery restaurant or frozen meals from an online company like Magic Kitchen. Be sure to also inform the family in need about the calendar so they know when to expect meals. Photo by steelashan.