The Souper Bowl of Caring collection began as a simple prayer: “Lord, even as we enjoy the Super Bowl football game, help us be mindful of those who are without a bowl of soup to eat” is inspiring a youth-led movement to help hungry and hurting people around the world.
This prayer, delivered by Brad Smith, then a seminary intern serving at Spring Valley Presbyterian Church in Columbia, SC, gave birth to an idea. Why not use Super Bowl weekend, a time when people come together for football and fun, to also unify the nation for a higher good: collecting dollars and canned food for the needy? Youth could collect donations at their schools and churches in soup pots, and then send every dollar DIRECTLY to a local charity of THEIR choice.
That was 1990. Since then, ordinary young people have generated an extraordinary more than $90 million for soup kitchens, food banks and other charities in communities across the country.
Yesterday our Youth Group collected $500.00 for the North End Soup Kitchen and 168 food items for the United Methodist Food Pantry. Thank you to our generous congregation for supporting God’s work beyond our church walls!
Volunteers from our church again supported the Flushing Presbyterian Church as they hosted 3 families for one week. Family Promise provides counseling, housing and support for homeless families in crisis and assists them in re-gaining their independence. One family was a young mother with two young sons. One family was a mother with two teen-aged twin sons. One family was a young couple with a 6 month-old girl. We hosted two of the seven dinners, evenings, nights and breakfast times. Together, we are sharing God’s love with our world!
5 youth, 3 Club 45er’s and 6 adults had a great time singing Christmas songs, ringing bells for the Salvation Army, and greeting customers at the Fenton VG’s on Silver Parkway from noon-2 p.m. on Saturday, December 10. Other adults from our church filled in the rest of the day from 9AM – 9PM. It’s amazing how fast time flies when having fun and sharing the joy of Christ! Even though it was cold and the start of our first big snow of the season, the appreciation and generosity expressed by customers warmed our hearts. Thank you Fenton community for supporting the Salvation Army!
We hosted another very successful Red Cross blood drive at our church! Our goal continued to be 39 pints, but we had 65 appointments and collected 53 pints! We want to thank the blood donors, the Boy Scouts for assisting in setting up and packing up the equipment, and the members who made cookies and the members who hosted the drive on Saturday, December 3.
The Food Bank of Eastern Michigan helps provide food to the hungry in 22 counties in the eastern half of Michigan. Over 19% of the people in eastern Michigan are food insecure. There are 400 partner agencies in these 22 counties that work daily to distribute this food. 98% of the money raised goes toward services.
Through your pledges to our church’s program, the mission committee makes donations to the Food Bank. In addition, our members have supported their Empty Bowls fund raiser in September as well as volunteering our hands to assist them in sorting food for distribution.
On November 12, fourteen volunteers from our church spent the morning sorting food for distribution to the partner agencies. Our volunteers working with another group of volunteers sorted 25,000 pounds of food!
The Mission committee wants to thank our members for their numerous methods of supporting the Food Bank of Eastern Michigan!
On Saturday, September 24, a group of volunteers from our church had a wonderful time assisting Adopt-a-Pet. We socialized their animals, painted a shed and benches, picked up trash, and built storage shelves. Since 2006, Adopt-a-Pet has found homes for over 3000 cats and dogs and funded veterinary care for some very sick animals. Their objective is “to find loving homes for homeless dogs and cats as well as assist people in the community to find homes for their personal animals.”
On Thursday, September 22, twelve of our members went together to the Empty Bowls fund raiser for the Food Bank of Eastern Michigan. For $20.00, each person selected a ceramic bowl to take home that was made by local artisans as well as enjoyed numerous bowls of soups and breads from area restaurants. Over 99% of the money raised goes into supplying over 12 million pounds of food each year in 22 counties of Michigan!
The Genesee County Habitat for Humanity is building 6 new homes in the Flint area this year. A group of 10 volunteers from our church assisted on Saturday, September 10, 2016. Our group painted the stairway walls and ceiling, laid a wood floor in one bedroom, leveled part of the yard and then seeded it, spread mulch around the house exterior and prepped a closet for the door. We had a very rewarding time and also met the new homeowner Shameka McDowell.
Shameka’s current residence, which needs major repair, is located in a very unsafe neighborhood. Shameka is very excited about her new home and is putting in a lot of “equity hours” in building it. “I have been working hard in trying to find a simple, affordable home, for myself, my disabled mother and grandfather. A place where we can live, laugh and love, without the worry of not feeling safe when you go to bed.”
Four youth went shopping to purchase school supplies and clothes for our Deacon’s Back-to-School project. They choose five children to shop for with money donated by some of our church members. These youth were very good stewards of the money they were allotted, and bought fashionable and quality items. The youth also wrote personal letters to each child letting them know they are loved and wishing them a successful school year. Youth group looks forward to helping with this project again next year!
Ten volunteers from our church traveled to the North End Soup Kitchen in Flint on Saturday, June 25, to prepare and serve a lunch to people in crisis. We served about 70 lunches. Everyone was very appreciative and we enjoyed our time together.