Meredith is an attorney who lives and works in Atlanta, Georgia. She was six months pregnant with her first baby as she headed to Austin for a quick work trip, never anticipating the home away from home our city would become for her and her growing family.
After going into premature labor, Meredith delivered baby Paul sixteen weeks early and he was admitted to the Dell Children’s Hospital NICU. Nearly a thousand miles away from her network friends and family at home, Meredith was faced with an unexpected several month stay in Austin.
Shannon Meroney, a fellow attorney mom, offered Meredith and her husband the use of a family apartment for their entire stay and began to rally her network of fellow mom and attorney friends to be a care network for her during this season of need. Shannon also organized a Dinner Elf group gift “meal page” which allowed Meredith’s friends and family back home, as well as caring Austinites, to contribute over 90 dinners cooked and packaged up for easy transport to their long days at the hospital.
Baby Paul grew stronger with each passing week. After several months as temporary Austinites, they were finally able to fly home together. Nearly two years later, as Dinner Elf debuts a menu and gift packages focused on new moms, we decided to check in with Meredith.
How was Dinner Elf a help after Paul was born?
As first time parents, after having our son, what to cook for dinner was the last thing on our minds. Planning meals, going to the grocery store, cooking, and cleaning up… each one of these tasks seemed like too much. Without Dinner Elf, we would have eaten fast food way too much! It was so nice to be able to browse a great menu, pick a few items, and “poof” have Dinner Elf make them appear in our refrigerator, ready to serve.
How was a Dinner Elf meal page a tool for your friends and family back home?
Because our son was born prematurely, and several states away from home, friends and family weren’t close enough to bring us meals. People sent us lots of care packages with various items but loved having Dinner Elf as an option. Food is one of the first things our friends and family thought of when wondering how to help, so they all really appreciated being able to donate a meal or two and knowing that we’d have one less thing to think about that day.
Where do you think a Dinner Elf meal page would be a help to someone?
Dinner Elf is useful anytime, but I think it’s especially important that people know about this service so that the next time a friend or family member has something major going on in life, Dinner Elf can come to the rescue. Dinner Elf would be great to gift to someone having surgery, recovering from the flu, buying or selling their home, changing jobs, etc. — any time you think someone’s going through a stressful time, that’d be a great time to gift Dinner Elf!