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Patrons filled the Arts Revive building for Selma Art Guild’s Empty Bowl Project event Tuesday, Sept. 24. Money raised during the event was donated to Integrity Worldwide, a local mission group working to serve the community of Meto, Kenya. -- Jay Sowers
Patrons filled the Arts Revive building for Selma Art Guild’s Empty Bowl Project event Tuesday, Sept. 24. Money raised during the event was donated to Integrity Worldwide, a local mission group working to serve the community of Meto, Kenya. -- Jay Sowers

Event goers fill up Empty Bowls for charity

Published 10:46pm Saturday, October 5, 2013

Selma Art Guild was pleasantly surprised Tuesday, Sept. 24, when more than 100 people filled the ArtsRevive Building to contribute to the Empty Bowls Project, an event meant to raise funds and awareness for Kenyans suffering from hunger.

The concept behind Empty Bowls is people select a bowl that potters, local artists and community members had created. The Selma Art Guild would then fill the bowls with a free meal of soup and bread, which was a donation from Selma community members. The Imagine Render Group were the original creators of the group, and Selma Art Guild decided to revive it.

Event goers were not required to purchase a bowl, which cost about $30, but were welcome to donate what they felt was appropriate.

The profits went to Integrity Worldwide, an international nonprofit Christian organization that will use the money to feed the children of Meto, a small village in Kenya.

The Empty Bowls are souvenirs that serve as a reminder that several children in Kenya are left with only empty bowls.

Becky Blaylock, a guild member said they only expected to have about 50 people, and they had to get more chairs and tables when they saw more had arrived. She said the group originally had 148 bowls, but were left with about 20 after the event.

Blaylock said Selma Art Guild thought the heavy rain would discourage people, but participants didn’t react to the weather like anticipated.

“People were saying things like, ‘We really needed the rain to cool things off. It feels like a perfect night,’” Blaylock said. “People were positive.”

Blaylock loves pottery and enjoyed using her talent to feed the hungry.

“It was rewarding and very emotional to be able to use my skills to raise funds,” Blaylock said. “Children should not go hungry.”

At this time, the Integrity Worldwide is not sure as to exactly how much they earned from the event.

“It’s safe to say we blew it out of the water,” said Averee Hicks, founder of Integrity Worldwide.

Members of Integrity Worldwide spoke to the crowd about their past and future trips to Kenya to improve the community’s life resources. Blaylock believes the speech made the people feel comfortable about how their money was going to be used.

She said the volunteers that gave their time and effort helped make the fundraiser so successful. Friends and family decorated the table and building, set up the tables, and made the food, among other tasks.

Blaylock said that many people were willing to give. She said that some even felt that they had not given enough.

Although Blaylock doesn’t know exactly why so many people were willing to give to the Empty Bowls fundraiser, she has an idea of what may have attracted the crowd.

“I think it was the novelty of it. It’s the charity.” Blaylock said. “However it came about, people seemed to enjoy the evening.”

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