Empty bowls

Sunday, November 4, 2012

"For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, 36 I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me. 37 Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? 38 And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? 39 And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?' 40 And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.'" -- Matthew 25:35-40

Helping others comes with its own rewards, including the joy of making a positive difference in the world. With several events in the area recently, the rewards have been immediate and tangible, too. Among the events are today's seventh annual Empty Bowls Banquet to support the Salvation Army community meals program.

More than 500 bowls have been handcrafted from clay, fired and glazed by local artists, with some like co-chairwoman Linda Bohnsack starting to make them as early as last February, to help feed the locally hungry. Some of the bowls were auctioned off earlier this weekend at the Southeast Missouri Council on the Arts. Others will be available at today's banquet at the Salvation Army building, 701 Good Hope Street in Cape Girardeau. The event opens at noon and closes at 4 p.m. For only $12, patrons will receive a bowl, a meal of soup, bread, dessert and drink.

"The empty bowl is a reminder that someone needs help and you helped by purchasing that bowl," Major Beth Stillwell of the Salvation Army told the Southeast Missourian. "We're looking forward to seeing the community come together under one roof to help people."

All proceeds from the Empty Bowls project go to the Salvation Army's community meals program, including Meals with Friends and the food pantry.

"If we can help someone who is struggling with food, they can put their money toward rent or utilities and it helps tremendously," Stillwell said.

Those who have supported this effort in the past often cherish the bowls not just for the reminder of making a difference, but because of their artistic beauty. To the artists who have contributed their time and energy, thank you. And to those who can convene at the Salvation Army building this afternoon, please know your contributions are appreciated.

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