If the family requested a charitable donation “in lieu of flowers” is it still appropriate to send a sympathy gift?

Yes, your gift of sympathy provides visible, emotional support to friends and family at a time when they really need it.  A sympathy gift sends your personal message of condolence.  You may choose to express your condolences in more than one way; sending a card, making a charitable contribution, sending a sympathy gift and offering practical help and assistance.  In some cases, families are saying we don’t want people to spend money on flowers. They believe that money is better spent through the charitable organization.  However, they are not saying we don’t want gifts of support and comfort.  If you feel a sympathy gift best conveys your message of condolence, the bereaved will certainly appreciate your support.

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