Published: Nov 23, 2011 02:00 AM
Modified: Nov 21, 2011 05:53 PM
Before too long, sports fans will be turning their attention to the Super Bowl.
Cassie Watters already has her game face on, but her eyes are on a different prize: helping to fight hunger in the Triangle through the Souper Bowl of Caring.
Cassie, a junior at East Chapel Hill High School, was one of 12 students nationwide chosen for the Youth Advisory Board of the Souper Bowl of Caring, an umbrella organization that helps young people launch projects to raise money or food donations to feed people in their community. The Souper Bowl aims to leverage the excitement around the Super Bowl to get people in the mood to give.
Even with the Super Bowl still months away (it's Feb. 5), Cassie, 16, is at work. In September, she attended a retreat in Columbia, S.C., where the aim was to pool ideas from all the Youth Advisory Board members and start planning individual projects.
In addition to spearheading fundraising projects, "we're kind of the messengers," Cassie said of the Youth Advisory Board members."We say, 'This is what we're doing, this is what we can do,' and then we just brainstormed ideas on how we can raise more money in our own communities to stop hunger," she said.
In Chapel Hill, Cassie has talked to her school's student government and her church.
In December, the youth board will reconvene.
She and the other board members have planned a bowling night for that meeting. Each member will solicit donations from their community based on what they bowl, and the proceeds will go to the Souper Bowl of Caring.That organization doesn't see a cent of the money that's raised in the Super Bowl-timed projects: 100 percent of the proceeds from the hunger-fighting projects stays in the communities, which Cassie said was a big draw for getting her on board. She also likes the responsibility the organization gives to its young leaders.
"It's not just older people, like adults, running it," Cassie said. "The youth are the ones running it, the adults are like the supervisors. We're the ones in charge. We're the ones who make the difference."
Making a difference is nothing new to Cassie. When she was in eighth grade, she was selected for a mission trip to Honduras, where she visited a school. She also took food baskets to families who were living below the poverty line.
"We gave them the food baskets firsthand," she said, "and it was just amazing to see their reaction and how grateful they were."
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