Editorial: Extending help needs no big game

Jan. 31, 2013 @ 02:12 PM

Timing is everything, right? Or is it?

Our suggestion for today has no timing element, other than our thoughts toward an organized resource of helping others that is national in scope, local in impact. That it comes the week of the big game is obvious, and we share it today for that reason.

But honestly, helping others in need is timeless. It can be done at any time, not just when we hear more about it, such as Christmas and other various holidays.

In New Orleans Sunday, in case you’ve missed it, they’ll play Super Bowl XLVII between Baltimore and San Francisco. You might have heard some of the hyped headlines — brothers as head coaches, quarterback with only nine starts, retiring player accused of cheating, racist advertising. There’s even a dustup about a cheerleader.

While the hype plays out then fades away, there’s another event called the Souper Bowl of Caring.

A seminary intern in a Columbia, S.C., Presbyterian church offered a prayer in 1990 that inspired the idea of youth collecting money and canned goods, then donating to local charities of their choice.

The gathering now includes drives and service projects that are well under way. In some worship services across the country this Sunday morning, youth and youth leaders will stand at the doors as the congregation exits, holding large soup pots. Congregants will drop in $1 bills, some maybe more.

The first year in Columbia, youth from 22 churches gave $5,700 to area non-profits. More than two decades later, a single year nationally raised more than $2 million in money and non-perishables (counted as a dollar each).

Each group decides which non-profit(s) in their area are aided by the collection.

Henderson, Vance County and our neighboring counties have great needs daily. Non-profit shelters and agencies are available to help. And yes, the need never ends.

Regardless of participation in the Souper Bowl by groups nearby, know that donations are always welcomed. There’s an open invitation to help, big game not included or necessary.

In closing, we offer the prayer from that intern, Brad Smith: “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.”