Thursday, April 03, 2008

Care Request Form

I was visiting over at Sandy's and read about her ideas for sharing meals with people in need. I commented about how I've coordinated meals in the past and thought I'd share one of the forms I made to help with the process. Heidi had left a comment asking for more information on what I wrote, so here it is. (Sorry, Heidi, there was no way for me to contact you from your comment, Hope this helps!)
This is the form I fill out with all the necessary information. After it is filled out, I copy as many copies as I'll need meals for someone. This is based on a form Emilie Barnes had in her book Things Happen When Women Care, a great resource, that I adapted for my own needs. With where I'm at in life this is usually used for meals after a new baby is born, but there are other blanks for other situations.
When someone signs up to do a meal for someone I can hand them this form just filling in the date and highlighting it (by the +) that they've signed up for. They can then contact the person in need directly to coordinate drop off times, as well as have a written reminder of what they've agreed to do. I also have a blank calendar page marked with the dates food is needed. This can be easily passed around a group to allow people to sign up for the times that work for them. I have the person write her name, phone, and email, in the calendar box. When the calendar is filled out, I make a copy for the person in need and keep a copy for myself. (I'll also make a copy for the helper if they want one, but since the date in on the form they get, most people don't bother.)
Giving the calendar to the person in need helps them to see what they can expect and when. It also allow them to have the direct contact information for the helper if needed so that they don't have to try and track me down, or look up someone's number if their needs change. Keeping a copy of the calendar also makes it easy for me to do reminder calls or emails a few days in advance.
I've used this system and while it may seem complicated at first, it saves a whole lot of time in the end for everyone. I only wished someone had done this for me after Dumpling was born. I know that Sandy says she doesn't do reminder calls and the friend that coordinated meals for me doesn't either. The reality is, half of the meals never arrived. Half. That left Sweetheart and I scrambling at the last minute to do something, a problem we could have avoided if we had known in advance that someone wasn't going to show up. I had a bunch of meals in the freezer, but didn't defrost them on the nights people were supposed to bring things over. It was so bad Sweetheart even asked me to just cancel the rest of the meals. I didn't, but probably should have.
Anyway, here is a copy of the main list I use. I didn't post a blank calendar page because, well, you can just Google that easier than I can figure out how to do that in Blogger! Maybe this next time will work out better for us, though I don't think too many people will want to bring meals over in December. :) (Did you catch that?)
Hope you may find this useful yourself! There are a lot of ministries that aren't too practical for me to be involved in right now, but I can always cook! Please leave your comments, as well as any suggestions you may have.
Care Request Information Form

Person(s) in Need: _______________________________


Phone Number(s): ______________________________________________________
Email: ______________________________________________________________

Coordinator/Contact Person: ___________________ Phone: ___________________

Contact __________________ directly to arrange drop-off times and directions, if needed.


____ Birth _____ Surgery/Illness ___ Accident/Injury


___ Death Family/Friend of _______________________________________________

Funeral Home: __________________________________________________________

___ Crisis Info, if Needed:

Care Need:
__ Visitation ___ Phone Call ___ Prayer ___ Meals ___ Other: ___________________

+Date Needed: _______________ Meal Quantity: _____ adult ___ children

Meal Information (Check as Applicable)
___ No Salt ___ Low Salt ___ Low Fat ___Low Cholesterol ___ Low Meat ___ No Meat ___Chicken/Fish Only ___ No Sugar ___ Other:

________ Allergies ***Read ALL Labels of Ingredients!!!

Other Notes:

Thank you for your willingness to serve!


Heidi said...

Thank you so much! This is a great tool for me to look at - and I love Emily Barnes so I'll have to check out that book. Great ideas and great format - I'll be in touch as I continue to check out your blog.

Anonymous said...

Yes, I caught that! Was wondering when I'd see it on your post! :-) Congratulations and love you my sis. Wish I were there to make meals for you. Love you.

Sheila said...


I'm sorry to hear that meal delivery went so poorly for you. Our church seems to do everything by e mail using "reply to all" to let others know which days have been taken. I *assume* it works. :)

Nourishing Traditions Team said...

First of all, this is a really great idea and tool. Thanks. Secondly, thanks for stopping by our new blog. I posted an answer to your question. I hope you will find it helpful. I'm hoping someone else will chime in with some thoughts or info too for you.
Happy Baking!!

Anonymous said...


I like your form, especially the part about allergies. I get migraines from MSG, and in my experience, most people do not even think about that.

Susan (now in Delaware)

Katie said...

Congratulations Kimberly! Thank you for this post. Our church does a good job of meals so far, but we are still tiny so this will be even more helpful for the future. I always enjoy checking in how you and your men are doing. Thank you for sharing the reality, joy, and loveliness that God has given to you and your family.

Jodi said...

See what happens when I get behind in blogging? I miss the little hints and have to wait for the announcement! ;o)

I like your system. My sister used to coordinate (years ago) for her Sunday School Department, and she really kept on top of it. I've had experiences like you had -- and really wished they just hadn't bothered. While sometimes it allowed for wonderful visits and great meals, too often we were left wondering if the food was coming or not. (And it's so embarrassing to be in the middle of making a meal when the doorbell rings at 6:30 or 7:00 with the person delivering their meal!) I think communication is key ... it is especially helpful for nursing mom's (trying to arrange feedings around company) and mom's of other littles (trying to keep hungry tummies full) to know when dinner is going to arrive. Just my two cents. And I hope you gets lots of good meals delivered in a timely manner come December! :oD

Sandy said...

Hi Kimberly, thanks for posting this! I actually had a similar form/binder when I did it for the church. I'm just getting folks "thinking" about this whole idea, on my blog. Even the folks who don't go to church. And that if you take a piece of paper and make your own schedule - whatever it takes, just get it done!
Sorry you had a bad experience. In all my yrs of taking meals, it's ran pretty smoothly!
Happy Day! And thanks again!


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