Sending a sympathy or shiva meal with a group of people can be tricky. Here’s some tips to help make it stress-free.

  • Money is always the subject people want to avoid, so start there. Agree on a budget and how much each person is expected to contribute.
  • Don’t be embarrassed if your budget is not the same as others. Be upfront about it and gracefully bow out. Select other like-minded individuals or do something else on your own.
  • Some suggestions of what you can say: “Since my budget is different from everyone else, I think it is best if I go ahead on my own.” or “I had a different number in mind. Please feel free to go ahead without me. I am happy to do my own thing and thank you for including me.”
  • If you are in charge of collecting the money, that can also be a challenge. Be upfront about it. Ask for payment from people right after you know the final cost. Be clear that you don’t want to hound people for money and make it easy for them to pay you. Use apps like PayPal or Venmo for payment to make it easy for people to send you money.
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