By Laura Leigh
If you know a Host Family in your church, life group, family, or neighborhood, be sure to fill out this 3 minute form to officially join their Circle of Support. As a member of their Circle of Support, you will be the first to get notified whenever they start hosting, will be encouraged to support the parent(s)-in-crisis, and will be mobilized to help them in practical ways in order to lighten their load and bolster their sense of community.
Once you become a part of their Circle of Support, you may be looking for some ideas of how to help the Host Family. To that end, I’ve come up with 15 simple suggestions that do not require any sort of background check or vetting through Safe Families. Some tips are absolutely free, some may cost something, and some are a financial investment of $20 or more. And don’t miss the last tip which is my super secret, good-neighbor hack that you will definitely be thanking me for later! Also check out this blog’s companion article, 15 Simple Ways to Support a Parent-in-Crisis.
1. Coordinate an amazon wishlist for them. Then get that list posted on every Facebook group you’re a part of as well as your church’s email chain.
2. Coordinate a meal train for them at. Then get that list posted on every Facebook group you’re a part of as well as your church’s email chain.
3. Pray with them in person. I like to tell people not to just drop off a meal but to always make sure they pray with the Host Family.
4. Text the Host Parent, “What’s one thing I can take off your plate today?”
5. Mow their lawn, weed their garden, or shovel their driveway. Better yet, have your teenage kids clean out their car. They all need service hours for something, right?
6. Text them an encouragement and a Bible verse every day. And then remember to pray every day too. They may not have time to open their Bibles that day, but you can remind them of truth with a simple text.
7. Ask the Host Family if there’s any way you can support the parent-in-crisis. This will help the Host Family know that there are others who care about this family and want to be a part of their village. Since I personally know all of our Host Families, I guarantee you this will be heartwarming to their souls.
MIGHT COST A LITTLE:
8. Bring the host parents their favorite coffee drink. They may just include you in their wills.
9. Clean out their car OR purchase a detailed car cleaning for them. Better yet, have your teenage kids clean out their car. They all need service hours for something, right? Whoops, I already said that.
FINANCIAL INVESTMENT OF $20 OR MORE:
10. Pay for them to all go to an Indoor Playground together. Locally, there is: The Big Backyard , Little Sprouts Play Cafe , Bounce Milwaukee , Kids in Motion , Betty Brinn Children’s Museum , Discovery World , and more. Heck, I don’t know…take some of the kids to your luxury gym with you (use your guest passes). I’m looking at you, Lifetime members.
11. Purchase a gas card for them. Most Host Families do a lot of extra driving.
12. Make a donation to Safe Families inspired by their service. Let them know that you motivated them to give and taught you a lot just by watching their experience.
13. Give them a Grocery Store gift card. Please just don’t be the person who doesn’t write the gift amount on the back of the gift card! If it’s $10, that’s fine! It’s not fine if I think it’s $50 and get embarrassed at the checkout!
14. Use Amazon Prime to send diapers (or other supplies or treats) to their house. I once sent a pregnant friend a huge box of gluten free snacks. She thought it was the best thing ever. I didn’t pay for shipping, and it arrived to her house the next day.
And without further ado…THIS is my secret, good-neighbor hack which has made me a hit with many friends and family! I’m talking about this life hack getting you major points in society, friends! Drumroll please…
15. Run, don’t walk, to pick up a $20 Sendik’s Family Meal! These meals feed a family of 4 (ish) and boast NO PREP WORK! They also come packaged, bundled in a cute bag, and with instructions for heating. Each meal is comfort food defined; my favorite is the Sloppy Joe’s. But don’t forget to pair this hack with tip number three–as you breezily drop off this perfectly-packaged Sendik’s Family Meal, don’t forget to pray with them too.
Next, check out this blog’s companion article, 15 Simple Ways to Support a Parent-in-Crisis.