Thursday, October 22, 2015

a visual reminder - The Empty Bowls Project

Did you know...
* last year in the United States, 14 percent of households (which equates to 17.4 MILLION households) were food insecure

Did you know...
* households in the US with children reported food insecurity at a significantly higher rate than those without children - 19 percent compared to 12 percent

Did you know...
* in 2013, 5.4 million seniors (over age 60), or 9 percent of all seniors were food insecure

And, did you know that food insecurity exists in EVERY county in America, ranging from a low of 4 percent in Slope County, ND to a high of 33 percent in Humphreys County, MS.

* all statistics above can be found on the Feeding America website

For the majority of us, hunger occurs occasionally when we've gone too long between meals.  We might notice being hungry when we are a day or two late going to the grocery store.  But, what about true hunger?  The kind of hunger where you don't know where your next meal will come from?  The kind of hunger that makes a kid act out in school because they haven't eaten in days.  The kind of hunger that makes you physically ill.  Sadly, hunger in America is a very real problem.

Often I'm asked why I'm so passionate about helping out at our local food bank, or starting food pantries at our kids' schools, or for spreading the word about food insecurity and I can honestly say that I can think about going without a lot of things - cable, new clothes, even a car - but I can't imagine not having enough food to feed my family.

Though the statistics seem bleak, there are so many ways that we can make a difference!

Have you heard of the Empty Bowls project?  It's an international grassroots effort to raise money and awareness in the fight to end hunger.
While I'm Waiting...The Empty Bowls Project
A plain, empty bowl - just waiting to be filled.
While I'm Waiting...The Empty Bowls Project
Katy and I recently got together and invited a few friends to go with us to U Paint It for an Empty Bowls painting party.  Our small fee included the bowl, all the paint, and the firing of our bowl.  Our finished products will be donated to an upcoming Empty Bowls event where, for a minimum donation, you receive a simple lunch of soup, bread, and water. Each person that attends will also be able to select a bowl to take home as a reminder of all the empty bowls in our community, state, country, and around the world.
While I'm Waiting...The Empty Bowls Project
While I'm Waiting...The Empty Bowls Project
While I'm Waiting...The Empty Bowls Project
While I'm Waiting...The Empty Bowls Project
While I'm Waiting...The Empty Bowls Project
While I'm Waiting...The Empty Bowls Project
While I'm Waiting...The Empty Bowls Project
While I'm Waiting...The Empty Bowls Project
Plain empty bowls transformed into tangible reminders that many in our communities need our help.
While I'm Waiting...The Empty Bowls Project
As you begin to prepare for the holidays, I have an easy challenge for you.  As you are setting out food, leave a bowl empty on purpose.  As friends and relatives ask you about the empty bowl, you can share the significance and help spread awareness about hunger in your area.
While I'm Waiting...The Empty Bowls Project
If you live in the Bryan/College Station area and would like to get involved, you have until November 12th to stop by U Paint It and paint a bowl.  This is a great opportunity to get your kiddos involved!

Not artistic but still want to help?  Stop by the Frame Gallery on Saturday, November 21st from 11am till 1pm and, for a small donation, enjoy a simple lunch of soup, bread and water and then take home a hand painted bowl as a reminder that hunger is a very real problem.  All proceeds from this particular event will benefit the Brazos Valley Food Bank.

If you live elsewhere and would like to get involved, I found that by Googling Empty Bowls and then the area that you are from is the quickest and easiest way to find events in your area.

Have you ever participated in an Empty Bowls event?

Thanks so much for stopping by!  Gig 'em and God bless! 
Holly

and don't forget about the Waiting on...Wednesday link-up - a place where you can link up what you are waiting on, going through, making, anything - as long as it's family-friendly!  :)  it's open through Saturday!
While I'm Waiting...Waiting on...Wednesday link-up
Don't forget to check my FAVORITE link-ups page to see where I'm linking up today!
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Much appreciation goes out to Karissa from A Fresh Start for featuring my post about the Empty Bowls Project! What an honor!  Thank you so much, Karissa!

31 comments:

  1. You are amazing. I mean really. I am so encouraged by you. I love painting bowls and we (in undergrad) always worked the empty bowl days and served soup. It is one of my favorite service projects. I can't wait to go this year. I love how you planned a party to go paint bowls. I have seen way too many children go without food and the long lasting effects that has on them. For these children who have gone without food, it is a feeling that they will never forget. They physically feel that feeling of hunger even though they know food is coming. It is so tragic to me. No one should ever have to feel that way. It really is something none of us should ever take for granted. Thank you!

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    1. Thank you so much for your sweet words, JulieAnn! I really feel that people want to help - some times they just don't know how. If I can help just one person find their a way to help others - that would make me so happy! There are so many things out there that need our help. Hunger and helping animals are two that I'm extra passionate about. I use to think I couldn't help because I didn't have the money to give - but that's not a good way to look at helping others. Giving of your time is so valuable, giving of your talents is valuable, giving of your voice is valuable. So, while I might not have a lot of money to give, I've decided to concentrate on what I can give. You are making such a difference with your job! I know it must be incredibly difficult but I want you to know that the people you come in contact with know you care about them and that must feel amazing! Keep up the great work and know that I am encouraged by YOU!

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    1. Thank you so much, Kristy! It was a fun way to spend a Sunday afternoon!

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  3. What a great project, such a fun way to help others.

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    1. Thank you! It's fun to get together with friends - bonus when you can make a difference too!

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  4. I seriously ate almost that entire veggie tray...lol.

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  5. This is truly a great project! Thanks so much for sharing Holly!

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    1. Thanks! It's one of my favorite events - I get to be creative AND help people too! Win! Win!!!

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  6. Thanks for highlighting this Holly.
    Hunger is a truly horrible problem. And unbelievable that it is so prevalent still today, when so many people are effluent. We've got to get this figured out and end it!

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    1. So true! Thankfully there is becoming more and more awareness and with awareness, there are answers. We definitely need to get this figured out and end it!

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  7. Loved doing this with you! Thanks for being an inspiration to me and so many others!

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  8. This is fantastic. The statistics really are staggering. And even world wide how many children die daily from hunger. I haven't heard of this project before but it's a great way to spread awareness.

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    1. Sadly, I lived in a bubble for a long time and didn't realize how many in our community were going without food. Our kids go to public school and sitting with them in the cafeteria, you could just look around and see kids that this might be their only meal for the day. It definitely made me ask myself, "what can I do". Thanks so much for stopping by! We can all make a difference!

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  9. Holly, I have never heard of this before! What a great idea!!

    I love your heart for giving and the example you set for your children and for your readers.

    I will definitely google to see if there are any Empty Bowls events in my area.

    Thanks for sharing!

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    1. Thank you for your sweet words, Karen! I hope you were able to find an event near you!

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  10. This is one special project and I have never heard of it. I am so glad you are a near-neighbor at Winter's today. I live in Portland, TX but not planning to be your way at all. I was blessed for a number of years at a church that had a food pantry and I got to run it. I loved that. I shall pay attention to some things down here. I am the opposite of you and you husband...I am a California girl (he is an Illini) but we live in Texas!
    So thankful God brought me here.

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    1. I'm so thankful God brought you here too! I know you were such a blessing when you ran the food pantry at your church! Maybe you can find one near Portland. Thanks so much for stopping by!

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  11. What a beautiful, tangible reminder of the need and poverty too many face. Pinning and sharing!

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    1. I appreciate that so much! Bringing awareness to hungry is so important! I'm so glad you stopped by!

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  12. Thank you for your work to help raise awareness and stop hunger! The bowls looks so cute!

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  13. Such a powerful message. I love the idea of leaving an empty bowl at the dinner table... definitely a conversation starter! Thanks so much for linking up with us at Welcome Home Wednesdays... can't wait to see what you link up with us this week! See you at the party tomorrow!

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    1. Thank you so much for stopping by, Betsy! It's heartbreaking to think about those doing without when so many of us have enough to share. I enjoy your link up and will be back next week! Thanks!

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  14. I love this so much, Holly!! Thank you for sharing your kind heart. I wish I had a U Paint It near me, I would certainly join in. I'm so thankful the world has kind souls like yours and those at U Paint-It.
    Keep spreading kindness, love!!
    XOXO

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    1. Thank you!!! It's amazing how one small act of kindness can create a ripple effect! Makes my heart smile just thinking about it! Thanks for stopping by! Hope you are having a great week!

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