Youth Nationwide to Use Super Bowl Sunday to Support Charities

For the past twelve years, America's youth have used Super Bowl Sunday as a day of giving and serving by collecting money to help hungry and hurting people in their communities. This year, to add to this already creative effort, many youth groups from congregations and schools will also collect money to provide aid for the tsunami and earthquake victims in southern Asia.

Souper Bowl of Caring—a simple effort to "love the Lord our God … and love our neighbors"—will see young people across the country

On Sunday, Feb. 6, 2005, youth across America will ask members of their church, school or group to give $1 each on or near Super Bowl Sunday, as they leave services or as students leave school, a school assembly or club meeting. The donations, collected in large soup pots, are then delivered directly to the charity selected by the group—usually a local charity to help the hungry or hurting.

"The Souper Bowl of Caring provides a message of hope during this time of uncertainty," said Rev. Dr. Brad Smith, founder and executive director of the Souper Bowl of Caring. "This is about giving to help our neighbors in need, and joining hands to put God's love into action."

This year, many groups are choosing to donate half to help a charity in their local community and send the other half to help those in need in southern Asia.

"The devastation of hunger in this country and the tsunami in Asia will go on long after Souper Bowl Sunday", Smith added. "But imagine the positive impact if half of the 130 million people who watch the big game gave one dollar to help those in need."

In 2004, 12,750 groups raised $4,258,397 for soup kitchens, food banks and other helping charities in all 50 states, Canada, the Netherlands, Germany, Puerto Rico and the Marshall Islands. Results are generated from reports received via phone or internet and are continually updated on the website and released to the media on Souper Bowl Sunday night. The goal for 2005 is to generate $5 million for charities.

"Our youth have participated in the Souper Bowl of Caring for years," said Jonathan Tompkins, Youth Director at Shandon United Methodist Church in Columbia, SC. "But this year provides a unique opportunity for all of America's youth to not only help people in need in our own communities, but also reach out to help those left hungry and hurting in southern Asia."

Former President and Mrs. George H.W. Bush as well as former President and
Mrs. Jimmy Carter are serving as National Advocates of the Souper Bowl of
Caring. Also supporting as advocates are Wayne Huizenga and family, owners of the Miami Dolphins; J. Wayne and Delores Weaver, owners of the Jacksonville Jaguars; and Bob and Janice McNair, owners of the Houston Texans.

To learn more about the Souper Bowl of Caring visit www.souperbowl.org or call (800) 358-7687(SOUP).