LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) - More than a thousand people gathered at the Statehouse Convention Center Sunday, Jan. 28 for a rewarding cup of soup.

Soup Sunday is an event that benefits Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families (AACF).

AACF is a non-governmental and non-partisan group that serves as a voice for children at the State Capitol and in Washington D.C.

"We do research and analysis of public policy," AACF development director Kerri Sernel said. "We take that data and share it with parents, citizens and policy makers so they can make the best decisions possible on behalf of kids.

THV11 This Morning anchor Rob Evans emceed Soup Sunday, which celebrated its 37th year in 2018. The event also brought out a number of local leaders.

"The people of Little Rock are very giving people," said Mayor Mark Stodola. "So this is just one more opportunity for them to continue to give, to reach into their pockets and to make a contribution that they know is really an investment in the future of our children."

AACF focuses on a variety of issues, including health, education, child welfare and juvenile justice.

"The money that's raised tonight will help us carry the best possible research and analysis to policy makers to put that information out there so people know what policies are working in other states, what works best for children, what might work for kids here in Arkansas and help put those policies forward," said Sernel.

Soup Sunday is AACF's largest fundraiser each year. The organization will host the event again in Rogers on March 4.