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Help Center receives proceeds from Empty Bowls fundraiser
Feb 01, 2013 4:50 pm
It's an event where participants can buy a bowl to help fill someone else's.
The Wilson County Community Help Center's annual "Empty Bowls" fundraising luncheon to help fill the center's food pantry was held last November at Winfree Bryant Middle School. The event raised enough money that the WCCHC will be able to keep hunger at bay for a lot of families in Wilson County.
The goal was to raise $15,000 from the event and $15,543 was the final total - mission accomplished. WCCHC President Ed James and board members Geri Batchelor and Janet Romano came to the center this week to present Director Gail Proctor with a check for the amount raised. The group was all smiles at the thought of how many people will be getting a little something extra in their food box because of the generosity of Empty Bowls participants.
If anyone thinks that funds raised by the event go to overhead, think again.
"We have always used it for food," Proctor said. "We will feed a lot of families with this money."
While the center receives non-perishable foods from food drives, the boxes usually don't include protein - something essential for a healthy diet, especially for growing children.
"We get a lot from the Postal Food Drive, from school food drives and from individuals," she said. "This money will allow us to add canned tuna and chicken as well as eggs, butter and bread to our boxes."
The Empty Bowls Luncheon involves a lot of people volunteering for everything from creating one of kind bowls, painting them and firing them in a kiln.
Linda Erwin, board member of the WCCHC, oversaw the creation of more than 600 bowls for the last event. In a series of workshops organizers have used more than 700 pounds of clay, with local participation of more than 400 members from 12 organizations.
The annual event includes lunch, a silent auction and a chance for participants to select one of the handmade bowls to take home as a reminder that someone's bowl is always empty.
Proctor said it's hard to over estimate how important the Empty Bowls event is to her organization.
"It's a blessing," she said. "It helps the people in the community to feel like they are helping feed hungry people in their own community, and it's a fun project for everyone involved."
The WCCHC, a United Way agency, serves Wilson and surrounding counties, providing assistance with food, clothing, rent, utilities and emergency medical expenses. A thrift store, open to the public, is filled with donations from local residents providing additional income to supplement the needs of the community.
The Help Center also serves as a referral center with local churches and other agencies to assist with providing housing and transportation. The organization also partners with Second Harvest Food Bank to purchase food in bulk. Middle Tennessee Electric Customers Care provides grants for a variety of financial necessities for Wilson County families.
For more information, contact the Help Center at 615-449-1856.
empty bowls Photo: Mary Hinds • Lebanon Democrat
The Wilson County Community Help Center was presented with a check for the money raised at last November's third annual Empty Bowls fundraiser. The money raised will help the center provide food for hungry people in Wilson County throughout the years. Shown here (from left) are WCCHC President Ed James, Help Center Director Gail Proctor, board member Geri Batchelor and Janet Romano with the ceremonial check in the center's food pantry. Not pictured was Empty Bowls 'creative chairperson' Linda Erwin was instrumental in making the event a success.