Empty Bowls

“Volunteering is the ultimate exercise in democracy. You vote in elections once a year but when you volunteer, you vote everyday about the kind of community you want to live in.”
- Author Unknown

One of the things I want to do on this blog is highlight some opportunities that we all have to make a difference in the lives of others. I'm sure I don't have to tell you that the needs around us are great. Both in our own hometowns and across the world. You probably have a few causes that you are passionate about already. I always like discovering new organizations and hearing about the difference people are making together. Everyone has talents, time or money (all three really) that they could invest in others. I'm adding a button on the side that will link to a different organization each month. I hope you'll check in there often and maybe you'll find something you can jump in a be part of. Without further adieu, let's get to this month's opportunity!

Have you ever been part of Empty Bowls? It's an awesome fundraiser put on by communities to raise money for local food pantries. The cool thing is that it is put on all around the country. You can go to the Empty Bowls website to check for the event closest to you. 

There are several ways you can contribute. First, you can find a participating paint-your-own pottery shop where you can paint and donate a bowl. This is a great girl's night out even because you can visit and relax while you contribute to a good cause. It's also a fun family date, which is what we did this year. Here's Thing One's bowl. I think he was going for the Picasso look.

Here's my finished bowl front and back.

A month or so after the bowls are painted there is a lunch or dinner event. You purchase a ticket for the meal. When you arrive (ours is always held at a local high school) you get to choose one of the painted bowls and you get a couple of paper bowls as well (to actually eat out of).  Restaurants from the community fill the cafeteria and you get to choose a couple of bowls of soup to try. Our city's event also includes fresh bread from a local bakery and gelato from an ice cream shop. It's fun to sit down at long tables with neighbors, friends, and people from your community. The money raised from each purchased ticket at our Empty Bowls event provides 10 hot meals for our local food program.

It's cool how many different people are involved. Local artists donate painted bowls to be auctioned at the event to raise even more money. High school students also make bowls in art classes and you can choose one of those instead if you want. Some of them are really cool. After a few years of going we had all the cereal bowls we needed, so I opted for these beauties.

We look forward to Empty Bowls every year. I hope that you can find one in or near your own town or city so you can be part of the fun. It's pretty awesome that having fun painting and just eating lunch can make a difference.  

Thanks for reading.


  1. This is such a great thing. I've never heard of it before. I live in CA, it would be fun to have my son and I paint some bowls and donate. Thanks!


    1. Thanks for reading, Nikki. I hope that you can find an Empty Bowls event near you! It really is fun.


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