We are continually impressed by the good work charitable organizations do.
Soup or Socks (SOS) is a Marshfield, WI based food pantry and clothes closet. This charitable organization provides food and/or clothing to over 2,000 people each year from Marshfield and the surrounding area. With only one paid employee, Soup or Socks relies on the help of volunteers—approximately 250 people from 14 area churches and the community work in the pantry and clothes closet every afternoon during the week. The organization started in 1992 as the Marshfield Area Pantry, but after adding the clothes closet in 1994, the organization renamed the effort Soup or Socks. The “SOS” in the name was intentional to convey they were there to help in times of crisis.
Soup of Socks is primarily United Way® and grant funded, but in 2012, they held their first fundraiser—Marshfield Area Empty Bowls. The first annual event raised more than six thousand dollars and two years later, at the third annual Marshfield Area Empty Bowls event, SOS director Cheryl Hartl was pleased to share the organization doubled this amount and raised more than $13 thousand. There were approximately 675 handcrafted, donated bowls sold as admission for the price of $10 and the bowls included a simple meal of soup and crackers, entertainment, raffles and children’s activities. Hunger awareness and education was also a pivotal part of the event.
Soup or Socks was the recipient of a one by one® grant from promotional products retailer 4imprint®. The grant was used to purchase logo’d canvas tote bags that were sold before, during and after the event. “This is an event people look forward to and plan for,” said Hartl. “People come to the event one year and by the next they’re asking how they can be involved.” Hartl attributes some of the event’s success to the promotion they obtained with the donated totes. “Five hundred dollars is like five million to us. We knew when we got this grant we’d really make it work for us.”