The Winner in An Upset: Friends in Deed
“It made me feel happy and proud that I was helping to collect soup cans for Friends in Deed. At first I was nervous. I was worried about the cans falling all over, but it turned out to be fun and it made me happy that I was doing it.” —Pia P., Grade 3.
By Norma Richman
The Kansas City Chiefs pulled out a win in the last minutes of Super Bowl LVII on Sunday; meanwhile the much-favored High Point Eagles scored a big win for charity. Community Engagement is a long-standing tradition at the school, affording children an opportunity to develop empathy and an understanding of the many needs in the Pasadena area. To that end, Mrs. Marble’s and Ms. Salazar’s classes broke the all-time Souper Bowl record on Friday in a well-planned service learning event. Last year’s collection of 356 soup cans for Friends in Deed was upset in a 2023 explosion of hearty soups and stews—518 in all. A last minute rally meant that two cars were needed to ferry the collections to the food bank on Washington Blvd.
Friends in Deed offers shelter services of all kinds, but the food bank specifically provides much-needed nutritional assistance to low-income and no-income families in the greater Pasadena and Altadena areas. It is currently providing food to about 400 households per week, for a total of approximately 1,000 people.
At High Point Souper Bowl VII prep started with discussions in third grade about the importance of helping others, and a flurry of colorful hand-made posters and flyers touting the Eagles and the Chiefs soon appeared all over school.
Third grader Jiya P. described the pre-game warmup this way: “We made a lot of posters and we tried to communicate information about Friends in Deed.” She added, “Later we tallied up cans five at a time and then added up the all the groups of five. The Eagles won the Souper Bowl with 300 cans. The other team, the Chiefs, got 218. A U.S. survey showed that more people wanted the Eagles to win.”
“I learned to help people in need so they can be happy and get things that other people have. I felt happy because I can give them something. I know that Friends in Deed is where we donate food, and it’s free for people who need it,” stated Melia K.
Henry F. further explained that “All the third grade cans are always donated every year to charity to help Friends in Deed give away food to the homeless and people who are not getting enough to eat.” In a philosophical note, he added, “It feels good to be helping other kids our age and to let them have a taste of what might be.”
Abraham K. reflected on the lesson to be learned: “Community Engagement is about helping people in need and helping the environment. It makes me feel good. I’m feeling good for helping others and the whole thing was fun.”
That notion was seconded by Noah W., who said, “It made me feel happy to donate cans to people who need food. They were soups and stews. I imagine they’re hungry sometimes and would feel excited to get food.”
In a post-game analysis, third grade teacher Sarah Marble explained the value of the project:
“We also did word problems with the cans to solve math problems, such as finding differences in the amounts of cans raised this year and previous years. The students had so much fun and learning that the food bank was really in need this year made it that much better! We are happy to be a part of such a giving community!”