Monday, October 15, 2007

Benefit suppers

In our small rural town, benefit meals are a frequent community event. Waffles, pizza and chili become a means of rallying around individual families who are experiencing tough situations and burdensome medical expenses.

Last night we attended a local soup supper to lend support for a young couple we'd never met who recently lost their infant son. Friends and family dished out hot chili, soup, cinnamon rolls and fruit pie to the hundreds of attendees who packed into the college cafeteria. Photos and memoribilia from the baby's short life were laid on a table, and baskets invited donations.

It was such a beautiful picture of what I think it means to live in community. I do not recall attending or even hearing about any such meal while living in Colorado, and last night's supper made me curious if these benefit dinners take place in other areas, especially other small towns. Have you ever heard of, or attended, such a meal? I'd love to hear your stories!

16 comments:

thehomespunheart said...

Carrie - this is such an amazing idea! I've never heard of this or attended one. One similar thing I heard of recently was a fundraising type of dinner at a local restaurant. The money raised was going to a family in our church who has two children with lots of medical needs.

tas said...

Groups or organizations will have fundraising spaghetti suppers (garlic bread and ceasar salad) Lots of money can be made on these, and the overhead is relativly low.

Make sure you follow local health regulations.
Some of the dinners will have a silent auction, making more money still.

Susan said...

Oh wow, what a wonderful way to reach out. I have never heard of this. Interested to hear what others have to share on the topic.

Niki (RuralWritings) said...

Where we are we also have the occasional fundraising dinner/dance, usually a big event, with tickets sold, caterers etc.
I love the idea of a benefit dinner which sounds simpler and easier to put on.

Sarah B. B. said...

We definitely have these. Sometimes people also sell "plates," which are delivered (full of food, of course) to offices & such at lunchtime. It's a little less community-centered, but makes it more feasible for some people to participate.

A, B & C said...

What a great idea! I remember doing these at church (our's were spaghetti dinner) when I was younger, but that was the last real small town I've lived in. It really does double duty- helps the family in need and brings the community together.

justabeachkat said...

I live in a resort area and I don't think I've heard of them doing anything like that here citywide, although some churches do it for someone in their congregation that has a need. I think it's a wonderful way to show love to a family that is hurting.

Hugs!
Kat

Kimmers said...

I actually miss this about living in Iowa. The community that I grew up in had them all the time. From pancake dinners to spaghetti meals. It as so wonderful to see people come together to support each other.

MyHeartIsAlwaysHome said...

These are held in Indiana all the time. Many times they are hosted at the VFW, local church or volunteer fire dept. In the warm months a fish fry is held and in cool weather they usually have chili dinners.

I love the way the community comes together to help those they may not even know!

Kimmers said...

Hey Carrie,
Yes I grew up in Urbandale Iowa, it was a small town at the time but close to everything we needed. I liked Iowa but I did not like the winters. I moved to Texas 41/2 years ago but then my husband got transferred to Ohio for his job. So now I will have winters again. Where we lived in Texas reminded me a lot of Iowa. The people were friendly.

Kim

Angela said...

These are held pretty often around here...and in fact, I just got an email today to sponsor one of my friends who has cancer at a dinner. It is such a great idea!

Lauren@Baseballs&Bows said...

Even though we live in an urban area, I feel that way about our church family. It is our community. What would we do without people to walk with us through the tough times and help us celebrate the good! Everyone needs that! It sounds like you live in a great place!

Tamara said...

wow, this is so normal for life here where I live. growing up we only saw the dinners as fundraisers for things like mission trips, etc. But now, all too often, we attend the meals as benefits as the community rallies around a person or family in need.

Sarah Markley said...

I have never heard of this. This sounds like such a good thing and seems like it helps the family. =)

Judy B said...

Hi I live in a small town in Louisiana and we have these benefits all the time to help with medical and or funeral expenses.We had one for my sister who passed away this year to help with funeral expenses, because she had no insurance.It is a way the community helps each other in times of emotional or medical stress.Just knowing so many people care is so heart warming and we never felt alone in our grief.People helping people what a wonderful feeling.

Jthemilker said...

Here in Western PA, spaghetti dinners are the rage. They have them for EVERYTHING and they are yummy, cheap to host, and money always goes to a good cause. My church also hosts a once/mth "Cafe" to support missions. They serve soup, salad, and sandwich after the service for any donation. It's fabulous.