Your Name: Janine Mahoney
Your Group: Shelter Island School - NHS
Location: Shelter Island, NY
Years Participated: 8
First Year: 2009
This Year: Collected $645 for Shelter Island Community Food Pantry
Thank you for your 8 years of dedication to Souper Bowl of Caring. Keep up the great work to strengthen your community!
How did you hear of Souper Bowl of Caring?We had done a Souper Bowl on our own based on an event we read about in a NYSUT magazine. We had no idea a national organization existed until we received a mailing about it.
Why did you choose to join the Souper Bowl of Caring team?It was a perfect fit for us. We were already excited about helping our community, so to be a part of a national movement was even better.
What does your group do to participate in the Souper Bowl of Caring movement?We host a school wide competition--some years boys vs. girls, other years odd grades vs. even grades--to see who can raise the most food in the two weeks prior to the Super Bowl. We have has assemblies involving skits and presentations as well.
What have you found is most successful for raising cash and food items?An assembly is a great way to rouse interest and build a sense of team - especially for our younger grades. Students also get to see older teen facilitators as role models for performing service.
Was there any particularly meaningful or moving story from your collection you would like to share?At as assembly an elementary student raised his hand and asked, "If they are hungry then why don't they just open their cabinet and get some food?" The thought of having bare cupboards was foreign to him. Another student raised her hand and asked, "Do I have to bring food in? We go to the pantry, so we'd kind of just be bringing it back and taking it again...." We assured her we would take care of it.
Tell us a little about where you donate your collection to.The Shelter Island Food Pantry is run through the Presbyterian Church on Shelter Island, but it is truly an ecumenical project. It is open several days a week, no questions asked, for those in need to take. It is funded by donation. It is stocked by a lovely retired couple, Al and Tippy Bevans.
Are there any resources you feel Souper Bowl of Caring could develop to enhance your collection?I think video clips/presentations are helpful when sharing the need for donations with students.
What does participating in Souper Bowl of Caring mean to your group?Every year the NHS is asked what charities it wishes to focus on - The Souper Bowl is always on the list... not only because it is a lot of fun, but also because it truly fills a need in our community- the pantry definitely hits a low after the holidays and the Souper Bowl is a wonderful way to call attention to hunger right here in our community and to demonstrate service to others.
What does it mean to you?I was raised serving others. I think the Souper Bowl is a wonderful program because it encourages students to be part of a national movement while benefiting their own community.