Empty Bowls and Bellies Filled at ORR Fundraiser

For some of us, this is the hardest time of year. As many of us revel this holiday season in abundance with our loved ones and friends, others are just wondering how they are going to make it through another week of providing shelter, warmth, comfort, and food for their families.

This holiday season your cup may runneth over, but the cups of others – whether optimistically half-full or pessimistically half-empty – might not.

The Ceramics and Art I students at Old Rochester Regional High School want to remind you that, if your cupboards are full, you are indeed blessed; but, if your cupboards are empty, you are not forgotten.

It took months for the Ceramics and Art I students in ORRHS art teachers Joanne Mogilnicki and Kate Butler’s classes to create the dozens of one-of-a-kind, hand-painted ceramic bowls displayed in stretching rows across the long tables in the cafeteria the evening of November 29. The concept is simple: create the bowls, guests pay just $10 and get to pick which bowl they like the most, and then they get filled by their choice of soup. After, guests leave with a belly full of bread and hot soup and get to keep their bowl.

“They can keep their bowl in their cupboard to remind them that they have food, but also that there are people who don’t,” said Mogilnicki. “Project Empty Bowls is a global campaign to raise awareness of the invisible hungry,” she continued.

The proceeds from the fundraising event will go to local families in need.

The students rather enjoyed the project, Butler said, and participating students each made at least two bowls so they could keep one for themselves, as a gift for themselves, but also as a reminder of the importance of the small act of creating a bowl to address an even greater act of feeding someone whose bowl is empty.

“It’s really great to see that the kids could create something that could help the community, and it doesn’t have to be big; it can be something small,” said Butler. “And I think the kids are amazed when they can make something that they can actually use and feel accomplished and happy because they themselves made it.”

Each ceramic bowl had its own unique individual charm. The many bowls of all sizes and colors and designs made it difficult for some to choose which one to take, but the sumptuous smell of soups simmering across the way undoubtedly elicited a slight sense of urgency to the selection process as the empty bellies of the hungry grumbled, eager to become one of the bellies feeling full and, hopefully, ever mindful of what a gift it is when your bowl indeed runneth over.

By Jean Perry

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