For the 27th year, the Carlisle community will gather for a simple meal of soup and bread to raise funds for Project SHARE.
Empty Bowls will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. Monday at the Dickinson College Holland Union Building (HUB). Tickets are $20, and are available online at the Carlisle Arts Learning Center website, www.carlislearts.org, or by calling 717-249-6973.
Becky Richeson, executive director of CALC, said M&T Bank underwrites the cost of the event so that all of the proceeds can go toward Project SHARE.
Preparation for the annual event starts almost simultaneously with the new year.
“In January, we definitely get people volunteering to help with it because people love the event so much,” Richeson said.
They have to start that early to finish the more than 250 bowls that are made for the event. Each bowl is different, and those who attend Empty Bowls keep the bowl of their choice. Richeson said CALC believes it’s important for people to keep their bowls as a reminder that soup is sometimes the only meal for many in the community.
“The symbolism of it is a perfect fit for Project SHARE’s vision of nourishing our community and awakening hope,” said Bob Weed, executive director of Project SHARE. “It’s also great to show how those who are blessed in our community can come together and share that blessing with others who are unfortunate or in need.”
All the bowls are handmade by artists, and several are glazed by community groups, such the children from Hope Station programs, Leadership Cumberland and participants in CALC’s own afterschool program, ArtWorks! The bowl selection includes all levels of artists from professionals to children’s bowls made with Create-a-Palooza.
“We have a whole range, but the most important thing is having many people involved in the process and learning about the importance of the event and what their contribution to our community is,” Richeson said.
Empty Bowls is a national program. It’s similar in many communities, but each one adds its own twist. For Carlisle, the community involvement is paramount not only to prepare the bowls for the event, but also to educate those participating on the need in the community.
“That’s as an important piece as raising money for Project SHARE,” Richeson said.
This week, volunteers are working on hand washing all 250 bowls and packing them in clean towels to make sure they arrive at the event clean and in one piece.
Richeson likes to see all the people line up before the doors open, and then come in at the same time all for a common purpose.
“It is fun to see what people are attracted to, and which bowls. It’s really fun when they pick one of the bowls the kids made over one of the other bowls,” she said.