By Linda Dillman
You can satisfy your hunger and help others in need during Canal Winchester Human Services’ ninth annual SOUPer Bowl on Feb. 2.
More than a dozen homemade soups – along with ceramic bowls handmade by Canal Winchester High School students, desserts, a silent auction and bake sale – are all part of the festivities from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the human services complex, 80 Covenant Way in Canal Winchester.
“Many individuals and groups donate the soups and desserts,” said Canal Winchester Human Services Director Aletha Mullins. “Churches, organizations, businesses and local residents all join in for this fun and worthwhile event. The SOUPer Bowl is our largest annual fundraiser in which funds are directly raised for operational costs to keep the doors of Human Services open.”
According to Mullins—and similar to homeownership—human services incurs costs to keep lights on, maintain an Internet connection, plow the parking lot in inclement weather, heat and cool the building, and more.
“This building is our home, and it has costs associated with keeping it safe and functional,” said Mullins. “We see the SOUPer Bowl as a way to have an open house of sorts that allows the entire family of Canal Winchester to enjoy sports, fellowship, and service together, just like a family would.”
Funds generated by proceeds from the event are used to maintain the building and fund operational costs, which, in turn, enable human services to carry out daily operations such as the food pantry; medical, grocery and personal appointments with senior transportation; and community and senior outreach events including Adopt-A-Family, Tools for School, and an annual Easter Egg Hunt.
“That is just a small sampling of what we do, but our building is a hub of great things happening to serve others all year around,” said Mullins. “As we are a non-profit organization, we never want to forget to extend our appreciation to everyone who joins in with us for this worthy cause. Collectively, our schools, churches, businesses, and residents all play a part, and if we could reach out and hug each and every one of them we would. A special thanks goes out to O’Neil Tents, as they always donate to us tables and chairs for the hundreds of people that will walk through our doors for the SOUPer Bowl.”
Mullins said part of human services’ mission statement is to connect people, resources, and compassion together in order to support and serve our local community in life-changing ways.
“We see these elements merge and come together every day of the year, whether it is for a food drive, outreach event, or taking a cancer patient to their medical appointments.”
Individuals and groups interested in donating to the SOUPer Bowl can visit www.facebook.com/cwhumanservices or www.cwhumanservices.org. Cash or check payments can be mailed or dropped off at 80 Covenant Way, Canal Winchester, OH 43110 any time. Donations will also be accepted on the day of the SOUPer Bowl event on Feb. 2.
The SOUPer Bowl has been held on Super Bowl Sunday each year since 2012, but wraps up well before the NFL’s annual Super Bowl game kicks off.