Souper Bowl of Caring
|Founder||Rev. Dr. Brad Smith|
|Focus||Hunger, Poverty, Youth Service|
|North America (Some participants worldwide)|
President and CEOClara B. Cooper
The Souper Bowl of Caring utilizes Super Bowl weekend in America to mobilize young people to fight hunger and poverty in their local communities. Its vision is to transform Super Bowl weekend (the weekend of the first Sunday in February) into America's largest youth-led weekend of giving and serving. Young people collect monetary and food donations during the week leading up to Super Bowl Sunday. 100% of the money and food is then given directly to local charities of the group's choice.
Started at Spring Valley Presbyterian Church in Columbia, South Carolina, the Souper Bowl of Caring has branched out to include schools, businesses and congregations of all faiths. Together, they have raised more than $50 million in monetary and food donations. In 2008 alone, more than 14,000 groups collected over $10 million.
The Souper Bowl of Caring has gained national attention, securing partnerships with nine different NFL Teams, in addition to finding National Advocates in former President and Mrs George H.W. Bush and former President and Mrs Jimmy Carter.
The Souper Bowl of Caring began in 1990 with a simple prayer said by Reverend Brad Smith of Spring Valley Presbyterian Church in Columbia, South Carolina:
|“||Lord, even as we enjoy the Super Bowl football game, help us be mindful of those who are without a bowl of soup to eat.||”|
On the Saturday before the Super Bowl, Service Blitzes are held in many communities. This is a day of service in which young people from the area come together to volunteer at a local charity. This gives the participants exposure to the cause they are fighting: poverty, hunger, homelessness and injustice. Some communities sponsor local events to raise awareness, others get their youth group or club involved with a soup kitchen to have a hands-on experience.
National Youth Advisory Board
Although the Souper Bowl of Caring is led by adults, the basis of the organization is its association with young people. Therefore, in 2007, a National Youth Advisory Board (NYAB) was created to bring youth ambassadors of the Souper Bowl to local communities around America. The board is composed of 15-20 high school students from around the country who serve as youth spokespersons to the media, lead and advise their respective communities, assist the Souper Bowl of Caring by providing ideas and suggestions and represent the Souper Bowl in a positive manner. Additionally, they attend two meetings to prepare for the upcoming event.
- Soup's On -- at the Souper Bowl of Caring, January 14, 2008
- Souper Bowl of Caring History, retrieved 2008-11-12
- Souper Bowl of Caring statistics page
- "Youth Will Use Super Bowl Sunday to Reach Out to Those in Need Through Souper Bowl of Caring", Business Wire, January 19, 2005, retrieved 2008-11-14
- Souper Bowl of Caring History Time Line
- Souper Bowl of Caring Service Blitz info, retrieved 2010-09-30
- Souper Bowl of Caring NYAB, retrieved 2010-09-30
- Souper Bowl of Caring Official Website
- ELCA World Hunger's Souper Bowl of Caring page
- Mrs. Bush's Remarks at Capital Area Food Bank's Souper Bowl of Caring, January 22, 2004
- The Congressional Record - SC. Representative Addison Wilson recognizes Souper Bowl of Caring in front of the House of Representatives, February 5, 2007
- 'Souper Bowl of Caring' founder encourages Lutherans to raise $1 million, January 18, 2007
- UM Youth Workers - Souper Bowl of Caring...get involved!, October 3, 2006