Your Name: Jane Carden
Your Group: Third Presbyterian Church Youth
Location: Rochester, NY
Years Participated: 11
First Year: 1998
This Year: Collected $3,122 for Cameron Community Ministries
How did you hear of Souper Bowl of Caring?Not sure, but we have participated in this wonderful youth driven event for years!! Third Church has done this for eleven years.
Why did you choose to join the Souper Bowl of Caring team?We love the idea of making a difference in our own back yard, having the privilege of designating where the offering goes. We also love and support a youth driven endeavor!!
What does your group do to participate in the Souper Bowl of Caring movement?We take a loose dollar offering and collect canned food. Every year we present a creative and often funny skit as our Focus on Mission.
What have you found is most successful for raising cash and food items?We have found success in offering a canned food challenge and sharing a skit as the Focus on Mission on the day of the offering. We strive to keep them current and topical. As an example, we shared 'Deflate-gate' in 2015 and "Star Wars, a food desert" in 2016. And every year our goal is the same..."just one more dollar, just one more pound!"
Was there any particularly meaningful or moving story from your collection you would like to share?For a few years a portion of our offering was designated to stay with our own Third Church Dining Room Ministry to be designated for desserts. As budgets were cut, it was clear this valuable program was going to feel the cuts. So we rolled up our sleeves, used the money to purchase the ingredients and actually baked and served desserts on Saturday mornings while the money lasted. It was very rewarding to share a smile and a nod as we put a warm brownie in to the hands of our Saturday morning guests.
Tell us a little about where you donate your collection to.Last year we designated that our offering go to Cameron Community Ministries, an urban outreach community center in the Lyell-Otis Neighborhood in Rochester, NY. Ninety-eight percent of the residents in this neighborhood live in poverty. Their mission is to provide hope to the community through emergency services, engagement, education and empowerment. They offer many programs including youth after-school and summer programs, a free hot meal program that serves lunch daily, an emergency food pantry, and a clothing house that serves community members in need of clothing and housewares.
Are there any resources you feel Souper Bowl of Caring could develop to enhance your collection?Every year I look for last year's statistics. I wish they were sent to us as a part of the next year's invitation to participate.
What does participating in Souper Bowl of Caring mean to your group?YOUth@Third teens are very socially aware. It's in our church DNA. And seeing our offering in action always leaves a lasting impression. These impressions appear in reflections, sermons on Youth Sundays and even a college admissions essay or two.
What does it mean to you?While our congregation tends to be made up of families who don't need to worry where their next meal comes from, to see the kids connect the dots is always a blessing to me!