Your Name: Kelley Howells
Your Group: St. Michael's Church
Location: Marblehead, MA
Years Participated: 7
First Year: 2005
How did you hear of Souper Bowl of Caring?I first heard of it when I began working at St. Michael's Church where they have participated for many years.
Why did you choose to join the Souper Bowl of Caring team?It is a great opportunity for the children and youth of our Church to be involved in charitable giving.
What does your group do to participate in the Souper Bowl of Caring movement?We advertise for about a month in advance, and have a canned good drive and donation collection on Super Bowl Sunday.
What have you found is most successful for raising cash and food items?This year we tried something new. We handed out brown paper shopping bags with our Church logo on them two weeks in advance. Then everyone had a physical reminder in their home to shop and contribute. In addition, the large bags encouraged participants to fill them up, and we got more donations than ever!
Was there any particularly meaningful or moving story from your collection you would like to share?It was great to see not only the large amount of donations but also the participation of folks who jumped in to help load up the donations and get them to the food pantry.
Tell us a little about where you donate your collection to.We donate items including cash, food, and toiletries to our local food pantry, The Marblehead Food Pantry. The Marblehead Food Pantry receives donations from many organizations and is available to any resident of our town, no questions asked.
Are there any resources you feel Souper Bowl of Caring could develop to enhance your collection?Maybe your website could create a goal for each group based on the group's totals the year before? Something to strive for? Perhaps give a "prize" of a Souperbowl of Caring logo tee shirt to the group leaders who meet or exceed the goal? It would be great advertising.
What does participating in Souper Bowl of Caring mean to your group?Our group does a lot of outreach for those in need locally and around the world, but this is the only effort that we participate in which is spearheaded and conducted exclusively by our children and youth. (Who can pass by a collection pot being held by an adorable child?!) The children learn the importance of being grateful for what they have, as well as learning to care for others.
What does it mean to you?This is an easy and fun way to help others while teaching important life lessons to our children and youth.