Above left: Costco
member Swati Mittal
prepares a meal as
part of a meal train
for an expecting mom
in MOMS Club of
Above right: “It’s surprising how something
as simple as lipstick
can [help] those
who’ve been left raw
and [with] no sense
of worth to feel better
says Sheryl Kurland of
According to Meal Train ( mealtrain.com),
a popular meal-train-planning website, more
than 10 million meals have been delivered
since 2010—about 300,000 each month.
“We know that the support of meals after
these major life events is important, and
knowing that you have a community caring
for you is so important,” says Meal Train
co-founder Michael Laramee, who resides in
Burlington, Vermont. “This isn’t an urban or
rural thing. People all over the country are
engaged in helping their neighbors.”
Lindsey McCaslin, a stay-at-home mom
of three and Costco member in Westchester,
Ohio, has been on both the receiving and
giving end of a meal train. She has also
helped organize 70 meal trains for families
at her church for three years.
After signing up, families can specify
how many meals they’d like and also note any
allergies or other preferences, which makes it
easy for people to participate, says McCaslin.
Though the majority of meal trains follow
births among the 150 mothers in her group,
sometimes the meals support people undergoing cancer treatment or grieving loved ones.
“I didn’t realize what a blessing it was
until I actually got to receive it,” she says of
being presented with meals after the birth
of her third child. “It was truly such a relief
each night knowing that I had meals being
delivered for two weeks, to not worry about
getting dinner on the table. I think the biggest thing is it just makes people feel loved,
and just lets them know they have a community around them that is supporting them.”
—Cynthia J. Drake
A lift from lipstick
When Sheryl Kurland was a kid, her mother
had a relatively easy fix for curing the blues.
“If I was having a bad day, Mom
[Bette Ann] would tell me to put a little
lipstick on to feel better about myself—
and darn if she wasn’t right,” says Kurland,
a Costco member.
The thought has taken on new meaning,
as it’s at the heart of Kurland’s efforts to help
domestic violence victims. Since 2016, her
nonprofit, Find Your Fabulosity (findyour
fabulosity.org), has provided 15,000 free
lipsticks to 150 women’s shelters in all
Lipstick gives victims of domestic
violence a newfound sense of empowerment,
says Kurland, a former marketing exec
trained in domestic violence assistance and
advocacy. “It’s a marker of a new beginning
and rediscovery of [a woman’s] voice, identity and beauty—her fabulosity,” she says.
Kurland’s goal: Acquire and distribute
50,000 lipsticks a year through donated
lipsticks and charitable contributions.
and Community Service
found that 77. 34 million adults
volunteered through an
organization last year.