Dr. Brad Smith, founder of Souper Bowl of Caring, thanks Columbia in this guest column featured in The State.
In January of 1990, a seed of an idea found fertile soil in the Midlands. And it took root. Since that first year, when young people from 22 area Columbia churches received dollar donations from worshipers as they left services on Super Bowl Sunday, an aggregate of $98 million in cash and cans has been given to soup kitchens and food banks across America.
Thank you, Souper Bowl of Caring supporters, for responding to the Spirit's nudging and joining in God's grassroots joy in such a special way.
Even as the Souper Bowl of Caring headquarters moves to Houston to position the effort for the next chapter of growth, I am mindful that Columbia was the perfect place and many of you the perfect people, to nurture this movement from a seedling to a substantial national movement. Thank you.
Only in Columbia would 15- and 16-year old Spring Valley Presbyterian Church students and, later, Spring Valley High and Blythewood High students, voluntarily serve thousands of hours stuffing, labeling, sorting, packing and mailing promotional materials all across America. Thank you.
Only in Columbia would graphics, video and database people like Vicky, Vickie, Shani, Jerry, Chris and Frank donate their time and talent to develop resources to help tell the story for the first five years of the effort. Thank you.
Only in Columbia would people like Dan and Anne donate use of their motor-home for a blitzathon, John and Trula donate 12 years of office space and another couple give over a million dollars to help the effort touch more lives and teach more youth. Thank you.
Only in Columbia would companies like Blue Cross Blue Shield let youth groups take over their phone system to answer calls, SCBT encourage their employees to participate, Chernoff-Newman and Nelson Mullins provide counsel, and business people like Dubose and businesses like Southeastern Freight Lines and AFLAC pitch in to help. Thank you.
Only in Columbia would adolescent youth and retired bankers, housewives, pastors and many more all team up to reach beyond themselves to see Super Bowl weekend become a time of mobilizing young people in every state across America to help those who are hungry and hurting.
As it approaches its 25th birthday, and with the help of an NFL owner, it is time for the Souper Bowl of Caring to move to an NFL city. Why? Because it is the best place to dare to see what plans our Lord has for this next chapter. Might it be that the vision of 100 million people giving a dollar each to help neighbors in need on that weekend will come to pass? With God's help, and with yours, it can happen.
So you'll know, even as the headquarters has moved, there is still a staff presence in Columbia. So long as you get your group involved, there will still be hundreds of midlands organizations collecting to support local helping agencies that feed the hungry. With your financial support to enable the effort, this simple but significant effort of caring will continue.
For now, however, the most important thing is to pause and be grateful. To God. And to all of you that have contributed to make it possible.
Brad Smith, Founder of Souper Bowl of Caring, Thanks Columbia For Nurturing This Movement
Souper Bowl of Caring Founder Has Phone Conference With Next Generation of VolunteersPosted Feb 5th 2017 10:36amSince founding Souper Bowl of Caring back in 1990, Dr. Brad Smith is no stranger to spreading its message. However, last weekend was a first: virtually introducing Souper Bowl of Caring to a group of kids across the country....
Video from WACH FOX 57 of Columbia citizens going 'Over the Edge'Posted Jun 13th 2016 2:01pmCheck out a story highlighting and 50 others going "Over the Edge" by rappelling down a 20 story building to raise money for Harvest Hope Food Bank.
Souper Bowl of Caring 2016 is going strong!Posted Feb 11th 2016 11:43amThank you to everyone who participated in Souper Bowl of Caring this year. Groups across the country came together with a common cause to give to those who are hungry and in need. We have seen an incredible turnout as reports are coming from all over the country. The photos and stories have been truly inspiring as we see each groups' unique story....
Souper Bowl of Caring - Our ImpactPosted May 14th 3:32pm by Alison Reese
IT'S DRAFT DAY!Posted Apr 25th 10:20am by Cristina Curtis-Barbe
Columbia SC Annual Tackle Hunger LuncheonPosted Apr 16th 10:21am by Alison Reese
Souper Bowl of Caring 2019 Result - Official TotalsPosted Apr 1st 3:21pm by Alison Reese
Don't Forget to REPORT Your Totals for the 2019 Tackle Hunger CampaignPosted Feb 7th 6:46pm by Alison Reese
The Game is Big. Our Mission is Bigger.Posted Feb 3rd 9:43am by Cristina Curtis-Barbe
Youth Groups Unite Across the Country to Tackle Hunger this Weekend Through Souper Bowl of CaringPosted Feb 1st 2:39pm by Cristina Curtis-Barbe
We are PROUD of our continued support from The Robert and Janice McNair FoundationPosted Jan 31st 12:12pm by Alison Reese
Souper Bowl of Caring Launches 29th Annual Hunger-Relief Campaign Across the NationPosted Jan 22nd 11:07am by Cristina Curtis-Barbe
The Midlands Service Blitz is THIS SATURDAY!Posted Jan 28th 12:34pm by Debbie Summers