31 March 2009

empty bowls

Floyd is locally thought of as a COMMUNITY rather than a town or a county. In our visits before actually moving here, people would say "Welcome to our community" rather than "welcome to Floyd." It seemed to augur a strong sense of working together, of sharing, of united action. Indeed it was and last weekend was a fine action demonstration.

Noting that there are a number of children below the poverty level in the county, and that various programs address their proper nutrition while attending school, there is a high probability that over the weekend, they may well go hungry. Once a year, the local potters, cooks and the Jacksonville Art Center pool their efforts to raise funds to send these kids home on Friday with a backpack containing healthy food items to last them until Monday morning. This year, the local potters made and donated five hundred (500!) hand made ceramic bowls. Local cooks and students in the culinary arts program brought soups and stews to fill those bowls; rounding out the cuisine were craft breads and delightful cupcakes.

As you came in the door, a $10 donation allowed you to choose any bowl you wanted from amongst hundreds of candidates, take it into the 'dining hall' and have it heaped full of tasty local cuisine, and then when you empty it, take it home with you. Its hard to know how many Scots are in our reading audience but I'll bet no one is old enough to remember when an artistically made ceramic bowl cost $10 --- and it this one came full of food to boot, enhanced by live music.

The wee village of Floyd has perhaps 450 denizens (counting canines and felines), the county about 13,500 - maybe. Enough of them attended this three hour event to raise in excess of $6,000 for this worthy cause. People working together to help each other, filling locally known needs, taking care of their own. This is a "can do" group of people who rather than speculating why something cannot be done, spend their energy to make things happen that improve the quality of life in the community.

Any wonder we love it here?


Mrs. Fuzzy said...

And don't forget, Dear, that they time it to begin just after the churches finish services and parishioners are finding excuses to eat in town!

Very clever folks, these people. That $6,000 will provide 400 backpacks full of meals!

Lausanne said...

I went to my first "Empty Bowl" fundraiser in Middlebury, VT about 7 years ago, then again in Santa Fe about 3 years ago, and those bowls are keepsakes that I still treasure for the good memories they bring.
I don't know where the Empty Bowl concept first came from but what a great way to bring people together to celebrate community, art and service all at once...Brilliant!
Glad to hear that Floyd as usual, is right in the swing of it!

sarahemingway said...

The Brescia Art Dept has been hosting this fundraiser for a few years. I have yet to attend but hope to do so soon. Glad that yours is so successful.