Long after the "big game," the totals for the SouperBowl of Caring keep rolling higher. Over 13,472 Service Blitz Participants from almost 10,700 congregations and schools reported raising over $3.8 million that one Super Bowl weekend. When most of the nation was watching the national sporting event, youth raised money to fight poverty.
"We applaud everyone who used Souper Bowl Sunday to step outside of themselves and help their neighbors in need," exclaimed Brad Smith, founder and executive director of the Souper Bowl of Caring. "Once all of the reports are in, we expect to be over $4 million, which after the tsunami relief efforts, is quite an accomplishment for these young people."
Youth across the country collected one-dollar donations in large soup pots on or near February 6, 2005. Each group then donated their money directly to the charity of their choice, and while no money was sent to Souper Bowl of Caring headquarters, organizers asked groups to report their collection amount so a national total can be determined, and it has now reached $3.8 million. Groups that have not reported are encouraged to do so at www.souperbowl.org or by calling 800-358-SOUP.
Since beginning with a prayer in a single South Carolina church, the Souper Bowl of Caring has raised over $27 million for hungry and hurting people. Visit the scrapbook at www.souperbowl.org to see pictures and stories shared by this year's participants in addition to various resources.
Although the Souper Bowl of Caring is a small step in the fight against hunger," said Rev. Dr. Brad Smith, founder and Executive Director of the Souper Bowl of Caring, "it is a way for young people to see they can make a difference and our hope is that they will continue contributing through volunteerism when they reach adulthood."
The mission of Souper Bowl of Caring is to utilize Super Bowl weekend to inspire and mobilize youth to fight hunger and poverty. Starting with a single prayer and becoming a national organization in 1993, this grassroots movement has mobilized young people to generate an aggregate of $24 million for soup kitchens, food banks and other charities. Participation teaches the young people that God can use them to make a difference in the lives of others. Plans are already underway for Souper Bowl 2006.