Back in 2007, when a close friend of Washington and Lee alumna Adina Erdman Bailey became ill, family, friends and neighbors immediately offered meals for the family. That is not a new scenario, of course; nor is the issue of how to coordinate all that goodwill so that three lasagnas don't arrive on the same night.
So Adina, of the W&L Class of 1996, and Scott Rogers, a friend in her hometown of Harrisonburg, Va., created a website — TakeThemAMeal.com — that is a free online tool to coordinate the delivery of meals to someone who is in need. People have created more than 2 million meal schedules with the site.
A meal coordinator sets up a private TakeThemAMeal.com account and then gives access to friends and families to a customized, online sign-up sheet with phone numbers, driving directions, food allergies, etc.
That original concept has now grown to include a second website-based service —PerfectPotluck.com, which coordinates meals for groups — plus a partnership with Harrisonburg-based A Bowl of Good, to offer meals that you can send to individuals in need of food.
This month and next, TakeThemAMeal.com and A Bowl of Good have partnered to provide meals to the faculty and staff of Sandy Hook Elementary School, in Newtown, Conn., as they begin the first school year since last December's shootings. They've been gathering sponsors for the $50 meals, and Adina's husband and fellow W&L alumnus, Michael Bailey, of the Class of 1998, will join the site's co-founder to hand deliver them to Newtown next month.
In a story about on WSHV-TV in Harrisonburg, Adina said: "We're thankful for the privilege to be able to care for the Sandy Hook Elementary School community in this way at this time. After the fact, it really is helpful for them to know that we haven't forgotten them and we still care."
For information, go to the special page on the TakeThemAMeal site.