Published 2:54 am Monday, January 15, 2007
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The Rev. Darryl Evans, First Presbyterian Church
The Rev. Carter Askren, Grace Lutheran Church
The Rev. Amanda Driskill, First Christian Church
The Rev. Brigitte Freeman Morris,
First United Methodist Church
Souperbowl of caring
Feb. 4 is coming. Millions upon millions of people will tune into the NFL’s Super Bowl XLI. This is possibly America’s greatest entertainment sports event; even its beer commercials are legendary for their humor and cost. All in all, it is a fantastic event of sports, entertainment and wealth.
While we watch food commercials that cost millions of dollars, it is easy to forget that almost 14 million American children are “food insecure,” according to the USDA. Or that America’s Second Harvest, which is the nation’s largest charitable hunger-relief organization, says that $6 is more than enough to feed a family of four for an entire week. Or that Beaufort County is a Tier 1 county with a poverty rate of almost 20 percent.
In 1990, amidst this splurging display of food and wealth, someone thought of the surging tide of hunger. A South Carolina seminary intern named Brad Smith had a simple idea to help: What if everyone who watched the game gave just $1?
Smith asked parishioners to give $1 each for the needy as they left church on Super Bowl Sunday. His church’s youth group liked the idea and invited other churches to join in. They called this the “Souperbowl of Caring.”
The concept is simple: on the same day as the NFL Super Bowl, give $1 or a can of food to a local charity of your choice that fights hunger. To have your organization sign up, simply register on www.souperbowl.org. Then later report on that same Web site how much you raised. That’s it. No red tape. No administrative fees. One hundred percent of what you give goes straight to charity.
The first year 22 churches participated and collected $5,700.
In 1991, the effort went statewide. In 1993, it went national. To date, over $33 million has been given, with $5 million in 2006 alone.
On Feb. 4, 2007, will you join us in Souperbowl XVIII?
If you’re not convinced yet, there is an added bonus. The Souperbowl’s mission is to use “Super Bowl weekend to mobilize youth to fight hunger and poverty in their local communities.” In other words, this is not just to help the hungry; it also is a day for our children. It is a day when they can be taught how to make a difference in a broken world. The Souperbowl also has an optional “Service Blitz,” which is a one-day event in which young people participate in volunteer work, thus hopefully nurturing a lifetime ethic.
Our local food pantry, Eagle’s Wings, which is participating in the Souperbowl of Caring, is asking area churches and others in the community to donate money and canned goods. Churches, schools, service clubs and organizations and individuals who are interested in fighting hunger and poverty throughout Beaufort County are welcome to join in the campaign.
We invite you to join with us in Souperbowl XVIII. We are calling especially upon churches to join us because Christ’s love compels us. It is so easy we are willing to assist you.
First Christian Church, First United Methodist Church, Grace Lutheran Church and First Presbyterian Church are among those who have signed up and are sending their proceeds to Eagle’s Wings. It’s one day. It’s one dollar. It’s for the hungry. It’s for our children. It’s too easy not to do.
For more information, visit www.souperbowl.org on the Web or call the Rev. Darryl Evans at 946-4616.