BY: KATHY L. COLLINS
During the Super Bowl, excesses and wealth are on display. But for some, Super Bowl Sunday is just another day where they struggle to survive. Churches across the country came together this year and took part in the “Souper Bowl” to help the homeless and needy.
The congregation of First Baptist Church of Brandon took part in this event for the first time. The congregation was asked to donate food, clothes, toiletries and gift cards to local stores and restaurants such as McDonald’s. Members of A Servant’s Heart, a group who is committed to helping both the body and the soul, collected and sorted the donated items. The group’s spokesman, Sal Fiducia said, “A Servant’s Heart was formed many years ago to do the Lord’s will; to help people in need who are less fortunate.”
Every Thursday approximately 16 members of A Servant’s Heart get together to feed both the body and soul of the homeless and needy in the Brandon Community. They prepare a potluck supper and layout whatever supplies are available such as clothes, toiletries and food. St. Francis of Assisi provides the space for this mission. On average approximately 64 homeless and needy people come to the feeding every week to be fed and receive much needed clothes and toiletries.
First Baptist Church of Brandon provides a storage room where food and other items are kept for the mission. A list is usually placed in the Church’s bulletin of what is needed. The congregation was asked to come together and donate on Super Bowl Sunday. According to Liz Dustin, “We usually get a couple of bags, but this week we got a truckload.” Ms. Dustin is hopeful that this event will energize the congregation to give on a regular basis. Ms. Dustin added, “When we are out there, we feel energized and rewarded. The gratitude on people’s faces makes it all worth while. People are drawn to tears over a pair of socks or a blanket.”
Donations are gratefully accepted and can be left at First Baptist Church of Brandon located on North Parsons Ave. in Brandon.
Here are the pictures from “Souper Bowl” One is from the truck where they gathered the goods. The other two are of the storage room at First Baptist of Brandon. They do not usually have that much stored in the room.