While the Patriots racked up points on the way to their fourth Super Bowl victory, the youth ministry program at Good Shepherd Parish was busy scoring donations to benefit two local organizations.
On Super Bowl Weekend, high school youth and other parishioners, wearing football jerseys to draw attention, stood at the entrances of parish churches (Most Holy Trinity Church, Saco; St. Joseph Church, Biddeford; St. Margaret Church, Old Orchard Beach; and St. Philip Church, Lyman) with soup pots in tow to collect money as part of the Souper Bowl of Caring, a national initiative that inspires youth across the nation to fight hunger and poverty in their community.
In total, the teenagers collected $2,024.95, which will be distributed between Preble Street Teen Center in Portland and Catholic Charities Maine’s Child and Adult Food Care Program, which helps provide healthy meals and snacks to children receiving child care in Maine.
"The youth opted to split the proceeds between the two organizations," said Josh Houde, youth minister for Good Shepherd Parish. "It’s an amazing accomplishment for both the youth and adult leaders and further proof that when there are people in need, the generosity of our parish community is boundless. I hope this collection produces lasting hope for the many who will benefit."
The collection was part of the Mustard Seed Project, a part of Catholic Charities Maine’s Parish Social Ministry program. The project helps educate Catholic youth and young adults about doing good works and demonstrates that great things can come from humble beginnings.
"We believe that even small steps, made by a few, can have a lasting impact in our communities," said Michael Smith, the manager of Catholic Charities Maine’s Parish Social Ministry program.