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Sunday, February 3, 2019 has been designated “Souper Bowl of Caring Sunday” by International Orthodox Christian Charities [IOCC].

This year’s 21st annual Souper Bowl Sunday—it’s name reflects the anticipated Super Bowl on the same day—aims at rallying parishes and their youth to champion feeding the poor and caring for those in need around the world.

A variety of resources — posters, bulletin inserts, and announcements — is available on the IOCC web site to generate a “team spirit” in the weeks leading up to the first Sunday of February.

IOCC offers parishes and youth groups the following easy, step-by-step tips for organizing a successful parish Souper Bowl Sunday.

  • Parishes should announce that they will be part of the Souper Bowl of Caring while asking parishioners to bring nonperishable food items and monetary contributions to the Divine Liturgy on Sunday, February 3.
  • Youth and/or other groups should discuss plans as they relate to community outreach and serving the poor.  Reading the Parable of the Good Samaritan [Luke 10:25-37] is a great starting point in relating “helping our neighbor” to Souper Bowl service activities.
  • Local food banks and/or soup kitchens should be identified as recipients of the nonperishable foods collected on Souper Bowl Sunday.  A monetary goal for raising and collecting funds for IOCC’s programs around the world also should be determined.
  • After services on February 3, youth may stand at exits with large soup pots to receive monetary donations. Other young people can help pass collection trays at the appropriate time.
  • During the week after Souper Bowl Sunday, nonperishables should be delivered to designated local hunger-relief charities.
  • Monetary donations may be sent to IOCC, 110 West Road, Suite 360, Baltimore, MD 21204.

Established in March 1992 as the official humanitarian organization of the Standing Conference of Canonical Orthodox Bishops in the Americas — today’s Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of the United States of America — IOCC, in the spirit of Christ’s love, offers emergency relief and development programs to those in need worldwide, without discrimination, and strengthens the capacity of the Orthodox Church to so respond.  By God’s grace, IOCC enables those suffering and in need to continue to improve their own lives and communities and to have the means to live with dignity, respect, and hope.  Since its inception, IOCC and its partners have provided over $600 million in relief and self-help programs to people in more than 60 countries.  Current programs focus on emergency relief, agriculture and food security, education, health, water and sanitation, and economic opportunity in Syria, Greece, Ethiopia, Tanzania, Uganda, the Balkans, the United States and elsewhere.  IOCC celebrated it’s 25th anniversary in 2017.