Your Name: Mark Bartholet
Your Group: St. Peter's Catholic Church
Location: Charlotte, NC
Years Participated: 12
First Year: 1997
This Year: Collected $3,826 for Center for Urban Ministry
Way to go!
How did you hear of Souper Bowl of Caring?Souper Bowl of Caring has been an annual tradition for the past five years at St. Peter's.
Why did you choose to join the Souper Bowl of Caring team?It fits in very well with the class and Souper Bowl of Caring is a great springboard for any number of lessons.
What does your group do to participate in the Souper Bowl of Caring movement?We have class members bang pots and pans in front of the church before and after each mass on Super Bowl weekend. The pot banging gets other parishioners to fish out money from wallets and donate. We also have a day of service as part of the Souper Bowl of Caring. We simply make sandwiches for a local food bank.
What have you found is most successful for raising cash and food items?The parish has allowed kids to be obnoxious before and after mass. It stands out: one time a year the normally solemn entrance and joyful exit to and from the church is glaringly different. But this is my only experience with this, so I don't know if other things work better.
Was there any particularly meaningful or moving story from your collection you would like to share?The response from the congregation was overwhelming. Parishioners involved with the food bank on the receiving end of the donations were really pleased to hear their work praised. Because our collection happened at masses, we did not get to hear from the recipients of the fundraiser.
Tell us a little about where you donate your collection to.St. Peter's Parish donates the funds to a soup kitchen run by Urban Ministries. This soup kitchen is open to all, but really is set up to meet the homeless, any homeless, feed them and try and work with them to end their homelessness. They've been at it every day for more than 15 years, which is both amazing and frightening.
Are there any resources you feel Souper Bowl of Caring could develop to enhance your collection?None come to mind.
What does participating in Souper Bowl of Caring mean to your group?For the Parish, it is integral in the mission of a Jesuit urban ministry: Seeking the poor where the poor are. For the Preconfirmation Class that actually raised the money: they were proud of the money raised and had fun doing it.
What does it mean to you?I see it as the other side of my faith. Where I am forgiven for my mistakes and faults on a daily basis and still allowed, even welcomed back into church, this food bank is an opportunity to extend that same welcome. No matter if the guest is polite, or unreceptive to the help offered, the help is still offered day after day. Not well thought out, but in that vein.