DEAR ABBY: I am a junior in high school and have participated in the Souper Bowl of Caring since it started at Spring Valley Presbyterian Church in Columbia, S.C. From putting $1 in the big soup pot at church when I was 3, to taking calls from other young people reporting their group's collections on Super Bowl Sunday, I have seen firsthand that young people can make a difference.
Would you please ask your readers to join this youth-led effort to help the less fortunate? The movement got a huge boost when you spread the word a few years ago.
To participate, people simply give $1 each for the needy as they leave worship the weekend of the Feb. 1 game. Youth group members holding large soup pots stand at sanctuary exits to receive the donations. Best of all, each group (schools do it, too) sends every dollar it collects directly to a local charity it chooses.
Even though the money collected is sent directly to each charity, we ask participating groups to report their totals on game day so the national impact can be measured. Access www.souperbowl.org or call (800) 358-7687 for instructions, to request free posters and to report totals. (We would love for the total to be announced during the game, but we need help to make that happen!)
Abby, an aggregate of more than $20 million has been collected to help needy people since the Souper Bowl of Caring began in our church youth group. This year 28 pro coaches have signed on.
Thank you for encouraging young people, and all people, to make a difference. God bless. -- SHELLEY LONG, YOUTH REPRESENTATIVE, SOUPER BOWL OF CARING
DEAR SHELLEY: And encourage them I do. By giving $1, everyone can be a winner on Super Bowl Sunday. The Souper Bowl of Caring is a laudable example of the good that can be accomplished when individuals join together for a common cause.
I applaud you for your efforts, and hope that your wish for a mention of the total monies raised during the game is realized.