Community in a Bowl | npENGAGE

Community in a Bowl

By on Mar 15, 2010


I missed one of my favorite local non-profit’s fundraising events while traveling last week.

So Others Might Eat hosts an empty bowls fundraiser every year. Perhaps you have been to one in your community – check here for a list of many empty bowls events across the country.

What is empty bowls? Local artists donate hand-made bowls, restaurants provide the soup and (if you are lucky) another business provides freshly made breads and desserts. Thank goodness my boyfriend was there to donate and pick up two nice bowls (sage green and grey with blue spots) perfect for pasta to add to our collection.

What I love about this event (aside from the bowls of course) is the sense of community it creates around the organization.  Here are the key points that help me connect throughout the night.

1. Reading about the community businesses and artists that come together to donate to the event. They end up in sponsor lists like this and make me think how I can support the businesses that support SOME.

2. Talking about the most popular soup options with the volunteers – helping me think about SOME’s work feeding those in need.
3. Debating with friends about which bowl would be best to add to your collection – making me think about returning year after year and those like me who do as well.

4. Chatting with the stranger next to you in line and finding out about what brought them to the event – SOME’s mission, a friend’s invitation, or maybe they made the bowl I am eating from.

5. Having someone rinse your bowl before the ride home, so you don’t get soup all over. It’s just a nice gesture that shows the organization has really thought this event through.

6. After the event they continue to foster that community online with an image gallery.

Building community is one of the greatest strengths that non-profits bring to the table. And grassroots events like this highlight that asset.  I can’t wait for next year!


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