Jan. 26, 2005
A UMNS Report
By Deborah White*
people across the United States will continue a 12-year tradition of
supporting local hunger ministries on Super Bowl Sunday by collecting $1
donations in large soup pots. This year, many youth groups
participating in the Souper Bowl of Caring on Feb. 6 plan to help
victims of the South Asia tsunami as well.
United Methodist youth groups have suggested they want to share their
Souper Bowl of Caring receipts with the tsunami relief efforts," says
Susan Hay, director of ministries with youth at the United Methodist
Board of Discipleship in Nashville, Tenn. "As United Methodists, we have
a direct link to the tsunami relief effort (through) the United
Methodist Committee on Relief. We encourage them to send money to
youth groups send the Souper Bowl donations to UMCOR or to local
charities, Hay reminds groups to report offering totals to the Souper
Bowl of Caring by visiting www.souperbowl.org or calling 1-800-358-SOUP.
Souper Bowl of Caring is a grass-roots, faith-based crusade against
hunger and poverty. It began with a prayer offered in 1988 by the Rev.
Brad Smith, then a seminary intern at Spring Valley Presbyterian Church
in Columbia, S.C.: "Lord, as we enjoy the Super Bowl football game, help
us be mindful of those who are without even a bowl of soup to eat."
years later, Smith became associate pastor of the church and shared his
idea of the Souper Bowl of Caring with the youth. They contacted other
churches, and 22 congregations from seven denominations participated in
the first Souper Bowl Sunday in 1990. The Souper Bowl of Caring went
nationwide in 1993. In 2004, the 12,759 participating congregations —
representing all 50 states and several other countries — generated $4.3
million for hunger ministries and charities.
Souper Bowl offering is received in most places at the end of worship
services on Super Bowl weekend. Youth stand at the exits of the
sanctuary holding soup pots or bowls. Congregants are encouraged to
contribute at least $1 each.
congregation, school or other organization participating in the Souper
Bowl of Caring will give the money it collects directly to the charity
of its choice and then report the amount to Souper Bowl headquarters so
totals can be announced to the public.
Souper Bowl of Caring provides a message of hope during this time of
uncertainty," says Smith, who became Souper Bowl of Caring executive
director in 2001. "The devastation of hunger in this country and the
tsunami in Asia will go on long after Souper Bowl Sunday. But imagine
the positive impact if half of the 130 million people who watch the big
game gave $1 to help those in need."
to UMCOR’s "South Asia Emergency" relief efforts can be sent directly
to UMCOR, 475 Riverside Drive, Room 330, New York, NY 10115. Designate
checks for UMCOR Advance #274305 and "South Asia Emergency." One hundred
percent of the money donated will go directly to this effort.
*White is associate editor of Interpreter magazine and Interpreter Online at United Methodist Communications.
News media contact: Deborah White or Linda Green, (615) 742-5470 or email@example.com.