Your Name: Kyrstin Schwartz
Your Group: Faith Lutheran Church
Location: Forest Lake, MN
Years Participated: 10
First Year: 1999
This Year: Collected $1,390 for Community Helping Hand
How did you hear of Souper Bowl of Caring?I asked around but no one could remember! I suspect we may have gotten a mailing. We've had many great staff members such as Deanna Ramberg and volunteers who have kept the tradition going throughout the years.
Why did you choose to join the Souper Bowl of Caring team?We have been participating for longer than I have been here! I imagine we started participating because our Congregation has a strong desire to help the hungry all over the world, especially in our local community.
What does your group do to participate in the Souper Bowl of Caring movement?We collect food donations on Super Bowl Sunday to donate to our local food shelves and the local school.
What have you found is most successful for raising cash and food items?We do a lot of publicity and it's become such a tradition at Faith that people know come Super Bowl time to bring their donations to church. We also use big soup buckets to collect donations which helps to make it unique!
Was there any particularly meaningful or moving story from your collection you would like to share?The Sunday School children lead this program! It's great to see how they get excited to help others, particularly, when they hear about all the hungry kids at school. Last year we heard that many children were going to school so hungry that they were getting sick. Last year we were able to donate 6,993 snacks to be passed out by the nursing offices in all 14 of our local district's schools. The schools have reported that the snacks have made a significant difference. After having a snack, hungry students can return to class free from their headaches and tummy aches. It also helps children who need to take medication with food and diabetics needing a snack. Another unexpected outcome is a decrease in behavior incidents as students needing to chill out are encouraged to come to the nursing office to get a snack and talk to someone.
Tell us a little about where you donate your collection to.We donate the items to two local food shelves in our community. This past year we started bringing any individually wrapped snack donations to the local school nurses office. We had heard that there were many children going to school hungry. We started an ongoing collection for school snacks that we now do beyond Souper Bowl of Caring day!
Are there any resources you feel Souper Bowl of Caring could develop to enhance your collection?The supplies provided are great! We always use the posters and signs for the donation boxes.
What does participating in Souper Bowl of Caring mean to your group?It provides our Sunday School children with another opportunity to serve those in their community and school. The children have connected to this service because it relates to people they know and see on a daily basis. It's also been a great way for the rest of the congregation to come together with the Sunday School children to make an even bigger impact as we work together. Then when we look at the type of impact that the entire Souper Bowl of Caring team makes, it is quite uplifting!
What does it mean to you?I love that the Souper Bowl of Caring gives people a way to give to others during a time when we are focused a lot on ourselves. I admit, I totally get into the Super Bowl event but it is hard not to look at how much money goes into it. I've heard people say before that if we took all the money that goes into the Super Bowl we could help a lot of people. I am thankful for Souper Bowl of Caring for offering an opportunity for us to make this day also about serving those in need in our communities.