My Church held an Empty Bowls fundraiser today, with proceeds benefiting Second Harvest Food Bank. It was one of the best fundraisers I've ever attended (and I attend many), and one of the more creative themes. Since we were fighting hunger, we were all about the bowls, empty and full.
There were the empty bowls, on sale and on display to raise both awareness and funds. The children and the braver adults of the congregation made bowls (hand build, not thrown) and then even more of us painted the bowls. They were fun and creative, and they told a story. Local artists and a few artists in other states somehow connected to the Church donated additional bowls, highly coveted actual pieces of art. But, the bowls made by the non-artists sold quite well, too. I knew the parents and grandparents would buy the kids' bowls, and most of the adults their own. But, I helped hostess at the sales table and plenty of people were buying bowls that they just thought were fun and interesting. And they'd tell a story about the community coming together to help feed its own.
And then there were the full bowls - the lunch. Soup donated by a local chef, loaves of bread from Panera, and chicken nuggets for the kids. Today is rainy and the temperature is rapidly dropping, so it was a great day for soup and fellowship with plenty of both to go around. But, most importantly, plenty of awareness spreading throughout the room and change clinking in to the cans. (Our church participates in the 2 cents a meal program, so at every congregational meal their are cans on the table for you to donate your 2 cents that is gathered and given to the food banks.)
Oh, and the children of the Church have a small vegetable garden. Something I didn't realize before today, when they harvested a dozen amazing yellow squash and donated them directly to the food bank.
It was a simple event, mostly friends gathering together to admire each other's handiwork and share a lunch. There was no entertainment, just one speaker from Second Harvest, and very little fuss. It was great.