In what's anticipated to be the nation's largest youth-led day of giving, Super Bowl Sunday will bring together the caring hands of thousands of young people for a 15-year-old anti-hunger campaign.
On America's biggest game day, youth from various denominations, including the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A) and the United Methodist Church, will be wielding giant soup pots to collect monetary aid at local churches, retail outlets and Super Bowl parties one dollar at a time.
The Souper Bowl of Caring is a simple movement of God's grace," said the Rev. Brad Smith during the 2006 Souper Bowl of Caring Blitzathon. "Mother Teresa once said, 'God doesnt call us to do great things, but small things with great love.'"
Smith launched the fundraiser campaign as a seminary intern at Spring Valley Presbyterian Church in Columbia, S.C.
The Blitzathon launched in Miami this year on Jan. 15 as a 17-city tour with youth offering their services and sharing their vision of hope to help local charities. The Blitzathon's final advance tailgate party will be at the Super Bowl host city of Detroit on Feb. 4.
"The vision God has put in our hearts is to see Super Bowl weekend become the largest weekend of giving and serving in the life of the country," said Smith.
Along with the funds-collection in pots that will be directed to local soup kitchens and homeless shelters, this year's campaign will also reach out to tsunami victims in Southern Asia.
"The devastation of hunger in this country and the tsunami in Asia will go on long after Souper Bowl Sunday," said Smith. "But imagine the positive impact if even half of the 130 million people who watch the big game gave one dollar to help those in need."
Last year, more than 11,000 congregations and schools raised $4 million in all 50 states, Canada, the Netherlands, Germany, Puerto Rico and Brazil, according to the Presbyterian News Service. In total, more than $28 million have been collected and given to needy neighbors since the campaign's founding in 1993.