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Columbus SOUP News

Summer SOUP for the 614

Summer in the 614: the time of sunny days and Red, White & Boom, late sunsets and Comfest, warm temps and Pride. It’s also the time for our THIRD Summer SOUP! That’s right… this edition of Summer SOUP is a pretty special one as we enter our third year of crowd-funding deserving projects in our city. For our eighth event, we are focusing our theme on the children of Columbus. Here are the details for Summer SOUP ’15:

  • Sunday, June 14 (614!)
  • 5:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
  • The Bosco Center, 80 South 6th Street
  • $7 minimum donation at the door

In another exciting addition to Summer SOUP, our hosts at The Bosco Center are offering free bowling at their 8 lane alley to anyone who arrives early! Doors for this fun experience open at 4:30—be sure to take advantage!

As of the time of this post, RSVPs are still available! Go to the Attend page for more details. As always, If you have RSVPd please double check your calendars and make sure you are able to attend. If you can’t, please login to Eventbrite and kindly release your tickets so someone on our wait list can join. No hard feelings!

We are especially excited for this SOUP’s projects. To give you a head’s up—take a moment to read about each presenter and show them some love on June 14.

Adolescence is a vulnerable period for children. Research reveals it is a particularly difficult time for girls. According to the Status of Girls in Central Ohio report, one in three girls in our community described themselves as overweight even though just 8.5% were actually overweight. Two in three were trying to lose weight whether or not they thought themselves overweight. These numbers represent what we already know: girls struggle with issues of confidence, body image, physical activity and healthy social behaviors as they are bombarded with negative imagery and influences. Girls on the Run of Franklin County started in 2008 with a group of 12 girls and now serves over 1400 girls a year in over 50 sites in Franklin County. The development of a site at Broadleigh E.S. is part of our strategic plan to expand the number programming sites in Columbus City Schools. Participants will demonstrate increased knowledge of healthy behaviors, increased self-esteem, increased physical activity level, increased school attendance & performance, reduced discipline referrals at school and reduced incidence of relational aggression experiences after completing the program.

 

Right now, there are more than 500,000 children in the foster care system in the United States. These children change placements an average of 3 times in the system. Every time a child in foster care is moved, the few belongings they have go with them—usually in a black, plastic trash bag. Also on streets and in shelters, there are another 2.5 million youth who are identified as homeless who also carry their belongings in a black, plastic trash bag. Beyond a loss of dignity & respect, these youth are easily targeted by predators because of their identifiable “luggage.” Carry Me Forward is developing series of initial campaigns that will launch with local designers. Each campaign will employ our “Give 4 Give” model. We will donate one purpose­fit bag for every retail bag (designed by the local designer) sold through the campaign. The goal of this project is to research and design the bag for our foster teen segment. We have three goals with these bags: 1. Purpose-­built for the foster teens, not bought off the shelf. 2. Domestically manufactured. 3. Our own patented design that can be manufactured in Columbus by homeless youth & foster teens through an internship/work study program.

 

Girls living in low-income neighborhoods are among those with the highest school dropout rates. Failing school systems, increased risk for pregnancy, drug use, and delinquency are all too common in these communities. By developing important leadership skills, girls can be better prepared to navigate school and future work. 1girl was founded by three Ohio State University students in 2013. We envisioned a world where all children, regardless of gender or socioeconomic status, would have the opportunity to reach their full potential. We help our girls by fostering the skills and confidence they need to be successful, both at school and in life. The Educating Future Leaders program involves college women delivering a unique, proven curriculum to middle school youth in at-risk areas of Columbus. We work through pre-existing afterschool and summer programs. Our goal for this project is to launch one new campus chapter of 1girl in Central Ohio. We currently have one chapter in Columbus (OSU), this will double our capacity to serve children in our community. After the first year of funding, chapters self-sustain, so this initial investment will serve youth for years to come.

 

Where do families go when they leave a homeless shelter? Often, when a family leaves a homeless shelter for a home, they have only have a few possessions carried in garbage bags. The Thomas Worthington High School Community Service Club began the Welcome Home project 20 years ago to provide a fully furnished home for those leaving a homeless shelter to move into. Welcome Home adopts families leaving the homeless system in Columbus and furnishes their new homes from top to bottom. We provide everything from the beds they sleep on to the dishes they serve their meals on. Like a version of extreme home makeover, we walk in to an empty space and make it a home. Every room is decorated, beds are made, pictures are on the walls, drawers are filled with the small things that a family needs. All of our furniture is donated from people from the community and our students clean and paint it, if needed. We also purchase new mattresses, which is our major expense. This project continues each year and depending on our financial support, we can complete from five to ten homes with 50-75 of our students donate their time to support Welcome Home. The more support we have, the more families can move into a home.

 

In an age where teachers feel pressure to “teach to the test,” often, learning is reduced to random facts and dates. Most students are left with little processing time to apply their learning in any meaningful way. This robs many of an interest in learning, especially for those who lack finances and access to dynamic supplemental and enriching educational opportunities outside of the classroom. Pan-African Connections (PAC) has been empowering youth since 2010 when we took our first Sankofa Sojourn (Sankofa is a Twi word meaning to go back and get it, as in history, culture, memories, etc.) of seven students to Ghana, West Africa on a 10-day service learning and study abroad experience. Our project has three goals: 1. Bring the learning from the classroom alive by studying African art and culture, colonization, and the Slave Trade in Ghana. 2. Increase cross-culture communication skills and global awareness via the service-learning component. 3. Develop young leaders and change agents that have a greater sense of competence-based confidence. Support for this program will help 15 youth participants on a year-long program culminating in the Sankofa Sojourn to Ghana.

 

We wouldn’t be able to give these amazing projects a venue in which to share their ideas if not for our equally amazing sponsors. The Bosco Center, a unique venue located in the heart of Downtown Columbus, has offered us their space for our event. A round of applause for our food donors: Zen Cha, The Kitchen, CaJohns, Explorers Club, and Abe’s Kitchen.

And as always, don’t forget to bring cash. We suggest a $7 donation at the door and extra cash for our raffle. See you on Sunday, June 14!

 

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