Your Name: Olivia Steffens
Your Group: Upper Dublin Lutheran Church
Location: Ambler, PA
Years Participated: 10
First Year: 2001
This Year: Collected $2,506 for ELCA World Hunger Appeal
Thank you, Upper Dublin Lutheran Church. It means the world to us for you to be involved each year!
How did you hear of Souper Bowl of Caring?
- A letter was sent to our church from Souper Bowl of Caring inviting us to participate.
Why did you choose to join the Souper Bowl of Caring team?
- I loved the fact that young people were involved in starting and running this organization.
- I love the fact that young people share the heart of Jesus in this ministry.
- Our Faith Family has a heart for social justice. We have many wonderful outreach ministries, locally and globally. Souper Bowl of Caring seemed to be a perfect fit for us.
- I appreciated the fact that we can donate the money we raise to the hunger charity of our choice.
What does your group do to participate in the Souper Bowl of Caring movement?
- As we donate food items to two different charities all year long, we do not collect any food items for Souper Bowl. Our focus is to raise money to stop hunger not just locally, but in our country and all over the world.
- Our 6th and 7th Grades Sunday School class coordinates and helps to facilitate our Souper Bowl event each year.
- The first thing we do is to focus on hunger awareness in our Sunday School. We hope the children & youth we serve will understand the great need there is and realize how blessed we are to be able to share the bounty of our blessings.
- Our students paint Souper Bowl baseball hats that they wear when collecting offerings. They also wear aprons that were painted by students several years ago.
- Some students make clay bowls that we use to collect Souper Bowl offerings. After Super Bowl Sunday, we encourage students to take home their bowls and use them to save money they might donate to help others in need.
- Students make and display Souper Bowl posters.
- Students make announcements during our three worship services the week before Super Bowl and also on Super Bowl Sunday.
- On occasion, we have shared Children's Sermons during worship to further explain the great need there is in our world and encourage others to help make a difference.
- We place ads in our paper weekly Connections, as well as in Constant Contact messages and our website.
- On Super Bowl Sunday, students of all ages help collect offerings after each of our three Worship Services.
- After all the offerings are received, a team of students and adults finds great joy counting the money we have received.
- We publicize the amount we collected and what our goal is (always $1 more than the previous year) and offer the opportunity for anyone who had not yet donated money to do so the following week...by placing money in the general offering and labeling it to be given through Souper Bowl.
What have you found is most successful for raising cash and food items?
- First - raising awareness of the great need.
- Focusing on how we have been called to care for each other...Jesus' own words, "Feed my sheep", Take care of the poor", etc.
- Having the children and youth make the announcements and collect the offerings.
- Our Faith Family is very supportive of children & youth and always supports them and their ministries. Just having the children and youth do something like this gleans wonderful support.
Was there any particularly meaningful or moving story from your collection you would like to share?
- What always touches my heart.....the story of serving joyfully together!
- The fact that children of all ages come together to help ~ with their teachers, parents, mentors. Even the littlest ones who place money in the offering bows are just delighted to be a part of something wonderful!
- The joy and excitement shared by the Counting Team. These kids are real cheerleaders with such a heart for helping and serving. It's just wonderful to be a part of this amazing ministry!
Tell us a little about where you donate your collection to.
- The ELCA, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, has a heart for outreach, serving, and sharing - as is exhibited by their ministry focus. "God's Work ~ Our Hands". The ELCA World Hunger Appeal serves to stop hunger in our country and throughout the world. Much of the support comes through teaching others how to be self- sustainable...using money to establish fish farms, rather than simply one fish dinner, to use one example. People find hope knowing they can be self -sustaining, and they experience God's love and grace through our gifts.
Are there any resources you feel Souper Bowl of Caring could develop to enhance your collection?
- More easily accessible downloadable resources.
- More current facts about world hunger.
What does participating in Souper Bowl of Caring mean to your group?
- It literally means the world to us...the world as we understand all people to be our brothers and sisters - children of our Loving God. It's our blessing to be able to work and serve and pray together in the hope of being blessings to others - as they are blessings to us!
What does it mean to you?
- My great joy is walking our children and youth's faith journeys with them. I see and experience the heart of Jesus in them and through them, in so many ways, and especially when they work and serve together to help others.