Commentary: Fill your Super Bowl Sunday with kidness

Thousands of football fans will gather to watch the Super Bowl this Sunday — most sharing more than a little food and drink. Meanwhile, nearby there are countless less fortunate folks facing mammoth personal challenges — often by no fault of their own.

Super Bowl fans could make a positive difference with a minimum of effort Sunday or some other occasion soon. All it would take is the media post below or communicating with guests:

Fill a Bowl on Super Bowl Sunday

Message:

Would you like to help “Fill a Bowl’ for charity on Super Bowl Sunday? If so, when you come for the game, please drop one or two canned goods in our food box. We will deliver the donated items to charity.

Suggested donations include canned tuna, ham, or chicken; ravioli, chili, baked beans, spaghetti & meatballs, hearty soups, vegetables (corn, green beans, peas, tomatoes), etc.

Also, sugar, dry milk, coffee/tea, potato flakes, rice, packaged pasta, pasta sauce, breakfast bars, boxed cereals, etc.

What if hosts or sites holding Super Bowl parties just put that post on social media or phoned/texted/ emailed guests with their charity idea?

For more types of donation needs and sites, see related lists.

Plan B: Change Bowl

If that idea doesn’t grab you, here’s Plan B. Throw a little pocket change in a designated “Change Bowl” or milk container with a slit. Donate the funds to a reliable charitable fund, group or house of worship to help change the day for someone.

Toss in a quarter, for example, each time your team scores or when your favorite Ram or Patriot makes a big gain or completes a huge pass. Create your own rules.

For this one day, winners of friendly bets could even pitch some or all of their winnings into the “Change Bowl” to improve a day for one person, cause, or shelter helping those in need.

Why this? Why now?

You may be asking, “Why donate now with this pop-up plan? Didn’t our Christmas or annual donations cover it?”

“No, not entirely,” say many charities and agencies under siege due to current conditions.

For example, it’s 18 degrees right now. The weatherman just warned that frostbite sets in after 10 minutes of exposure to freezing temps. Could you imagine being without heat or housing now?

With the recent frigid digits plus January’s financial woes, more people are struggling to keep food on the table, pay the utility bills, or just plain cope. For others, the issues are aging, disability, job loss, transportation or military factors (PTSD, wounds, deployments, etc.).

Some lack housing through no misdeeds of their own — just soaring costs, pay check problems, fixed incomes, medical bills, or family dysfunction.

So lots of folks — invisible to most of us — are heading to Code Purple sites in larger numbers, and/or calling on food banks, charities, or houses of worship that typically help supply temporary shelter to aid the homeless or needy via Code Purple and/or other methods.

That’s why Super Bowl Sunday could be a perfect chance for charitable fun — a pop-up program of painless giving for groups or individuals.

Who could use donations? Every area has unique needs — a favorite charity well-known to you and friends, a family with a recent loss or setback, a local site listed below, or a highly rated organization found via Google searches or a look in the book (yellow pages or phone books under Social Service Organizations or Charities).

[Note: It’s often advisable to contact charities in advance to verify current need or to confirm how to deliver or mail donations. Also, central donation sites or food banks often (for some always) distribute based on documented referrals from agencies (locally Williams Service Center, South DuPont Highway opposite Ford dealership)].

Also, most groups request that donated goods have valid “use by” dates or very close to it.

Game or group tradition

Sunday may be the perfect time to help fill the empty bowls of those in need by collecting canned goods, foods, coins, or whatever the chosen charity needs. If you’re not a Super Bowl fan, maybe modify the concept for any party, meeting, program or occasion. (Valentine’s Day is near!)

Maybe even clip and save info for reference.

So while stocking up in stores for Super Bowl Sunday or while plundering the pantry, why not pick up that extra can of food or an item or two to donate?

Or consider keeping those quarters to put in the “Change Bowl.” Help brighten someone’s day — one quarter at a time.

Our combined donations might do much locally or beyond. Why not take the chance?

Need never ends.

P.S. May your team win.

Food donations

Local sites receiving canned/packaged foods and more:

First Baptist Church of Dover, 301 Walker Road, Dover Contact: Ms. Smith When donating : Enter main glass doors at church overhang Good Times: Weekday mornings approx.- 9 a.m. – noon with some afternoon hours only Tues. – Fri.

Holy Cross Church, 631 South State St., Dover Contact: Ms. Green in Building C, Early Learning Center, Floor 2 during reg. office hours or drop off in

Holy Cross Church, Dover Samaritan’s Food Box inside the church open from early AM mass to evening closing; apx. 6:30 a.m. – 7 p.m.

Dover Interfaith Mission for Housing, 684 Forrest St., Dover – monetary donations; call ahead to confirm changing needs. Current needs: men’s XL or 2X-size boxers; blankets, sheets, pillow cases, pillows; laundry detergent/liquid; certain personal care items; winter outerwear – new or gently used for all; hats, gloves, scarves, mittens

Call ahead to sign-up for specific days for cooked dishes or to deliver meals on a set schedule

Hopes and Dream Peer Resource Center, 623 West Division, Dover – daytime space from the cold with resources, snacks, laundry help

Salvation Army Church, 611 Forest St., Dover – accepting canned /packaged goods; also, winter coats, hats, gloves (men, women, children), more. 10 a.m.– 5 p.m.

Patricia Thompson is an adult -learning educator, freelance writer, and retired public school teacher/administrator living in Dover.

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