How to Send Long-Distance Love to a Friend Who's Struggling

Tuesday, February 18, 2020

As I recover from a few weeks of medical bullsh!t, I feel extremely grateful for the love & support of the friends, family, & coworkers, who have sent that love & support in various ways. Some have visited, bearing flowers & frozen dumplings, while others have texted from afar, sent Instagram messages, & even deposited a little something extra into my Starbucks account.

Anyone who knows me knows that sending gifts is my Love Language®, not sorry - & while I am far less accustomed to receiving gifts, I have been, truly, blown away by the kindness & creativity of some of the ways people have reached out to us. I thought I'd share with you some of the ways people sent things - so that you know that these services exist, too, should you ever want to support a friend in a similar way.

An important caveat, to be clear: You don't have to spend money on someone to send them love & support during a difficult time. The texts, cards, DMs, & emails we've received mean just as much to us as tangible gifts do. 

Still, I wanted to share these outlets for gift-giving in the hopes that they might help you help someone else, should you feel so inclined. I know I'll be hanging onto this list to pay it forward next time someone I love needs a hug from afar.

1. Send a card that you don't have to write or mail. 

I've been using Postable for years, which occasionally tricks people into thinking I have better handwriting than I do (although my handwriting is pretty nice tbh). You pick a card, type a message, choose a font, add an address, & pay for both the card itself & the stamp to send it.

In a few days, it arrives at its destination looking like... well, like you sent a thoughtful card. It's excellent & inexpensive & very good for people who never have stamps on hand but want to send a little bit of love. (P.S.: You can use code MRPF5WB8 for $5 off a $20 purchase.)

2. Send a care package created & shipped by someone else.

One of my favorite ways to brighten a friend's day has long been Greetabl, a site that lets you send little packages customizable with greetings, photos, gift cards, & gifts. I often send them for birthdays & congratulations, but they'd also be perfect for "thinking of you"/general love shipments.

Similarly, my friend Jill recently sent me a BrightBox, which is based on the same idea: Someone else creates a care package and ships it for you, so you can send love without having to ever set foot in a post office. Or wrestle with packing tape.

Jill sent me the Pamper Box ($15), which included candy, a scrunchie, a bath bomb, & other goodies. You can choose from similarly curated boxes, all designed around themes, or create your own based on what you want to send.

3. Send cookies you don't have to bake yourself.

The first gift I received during all this mess was from my coworker Shira, who sent an assorted dozen from Insomnia Cookies, which has locations across the U.S. I wept as the delivery woman handed them to me... & accepted the hug she offered me to go with them.

After my second surgery, my coworker Deb sent a tin of Cheryl's Cookies, themed "bee well" & filled with bumblebee- & flower-shaped sugar cookies. It was such a brightly colored, joyful delivery, & it made my day during yet another a difficult week.

4. Send a grocery delivery without leaving your home.

Just before surgery numero uno, our friends Stevie & Andrew sent us a Heinen's delivery via Instacart. It included two frozen pizzas, ingredients for salad, & even a little fruit tart for dessert. It was so, so appreciated - especially because we hadn't had the time or energy to focus on groceries. (P.S.: Get $10 off your first order with my referral link.)

After surgery numero dos, my boss, Debi, sent a Whole Foods delivery using Amazon Prime. She lives in NYC & told me that the delivery she'd planning wasn't available in Cleveland (listen, we're not New York!), but this turned out to be perfect. Who doesn't appreciate a chicken noodle soup delivery when they're on the mend? Seriously.

I also like to use GoPuff for snack deliveries, like ice cream, Goldfish crackers, Saltines, PopChips... you name a sweet or salty treat, & they probably deliver it. They also deliver booze, some household & hygiene items, & even phone chargers & batteries. (P.S.: Get $5 off your next three orders with my referral link.)


So! There you have it. Like I said: I feel beyond fortunate right now, despite all the crap I've been going through, both physically & emotionally - & I hope this roundup will help you find some services to help lift up the folks in your life who need a little pick-me-up.

Tell me: Have you sent or received love in other ways? What services do you use to send gifts to friends? And, important question, what's your Love Language®? Should I blog about this later? Now that I've determined that mine is giving gifts, I am a little bit obsessed. That's a post for another day, though.

To everyone who has sent me any form of love as of late, thank you. I can't tell you how much it has meant to me - & I promise to pay it forward. 

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