delivering meals in time of need

Delivering Sustenance In Time Of Need

A delicious way to pay it forward

One of the best ways to do someone a good turn has always been to pay it forward. The idea is that upon receiving a kindness, rather than doing a favor for the person who did one for you, it’s better to forge another link in the chain by finding a good turn to do for someone else.

Opportunities to return a favor by paying it forward in turn don’t always arise very neatly, however. But for one San Francisco man we’ll call Michael, the perfect opportunity arose some years after the good deed he received.

The story starts with the birth of Michael’s daughter. “Her birth was pretty traumatic,” he told Good Turns recently. “She was delivered by an emergency C-section, and everyone was fine but there was a while where we weren’t sure what was going to happen.”

“There were so many people who were willing to go the extra mile and help us and support us”

Mother and baby, and dad, had to spend a week in the hospital before they could go home. And when they did get home, it was all they could do to care for the baby. Michael’s wife was recovering from the surgery, and there were two older kids to take care of as well. “We could barely function,” he recalls. “We weren’t getting any sleep, everyone had a different set of needs. I don’t know how we survived.”

One thing that helped immeasurably, Michael reports, is that a family friend recruited a number of other families to bring meals to the house for Michael and his wife and kids. “It was kind of a surprise,” he says. “We hadn’t asked for her help, but this friend of ours, another parent at the big kids’ school, sent an email to all the parents in the class asking them to sign up to bring us meals every night. There was actually a little too much information in that email, which kind of threw us at first, but I’m pretty sure it was the right thing for her to do.”

Having dinners delivered each night took the pressure off. So when, several years later, another friend gave birth prematurely to a baby who had to spend a week in intensive care before he could go home, and the call went out to help with their meals, Michael knew how much value such a service could provide.

“When I got that email, I immediately signed up,” Michael says. “It was so amazing for us to have people bringing us those dinners. And really I’m not sure what was more important, getting the meals from people, or just knowing there were so many people who were willing to go the extra mile and help us and support us. So there was no way I was not going to bring a meal to this family.”

And there is no way we’re not going to salute Michael for his perseverance in finding a way to pay it forward. Even if you have to wait years for the right opportunity, it’s worth it to be able to do someone a good turn, knowing how much it can mean to them. So keep looking for the chance to add another link to the chain.

(Photo by Josh Plueger, courtesy U.S. Air Force)

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