Greater Lowell Empty Bowls Fundraiser

posted on: January 27, 2011

When I come across an event that supports a mission I believe in and care deeply about, my first thought is always, "How can I help?" I have hands and a heart like everyone else, but this gift of photography seems to be a unique talent that I can offer to help tell a story through imagery, so I volunteer it whenever I really believe it will help make a difference.

In the case of Greater Lowell Empty Bowls, I knew that because this was the first year, it would need to be thoroughly documented in order to provide a sense of the overall experience for people who've never been. Being able to see what the event is like in advance can help people feel comfortable knowing what to expect, which reduces the anxiety of going to a new event where you may not know anyone.

The "empty bowls" were donated by many different people- some were handmade by artists, some were bowls that had never been used from someone's home, some were cute, some were funky, some were simple, and some were crazy. The most unique bowls were definitely the first to be selected and taken home.

I think my favorite part was looking at the bowls people had selected for themselves and wondering what it might have meant to them. ;-)

Once the bowls were selected, people camped out at tables throughout the room and enjoyed unlimited cups of gourmet soups donated by local businesses and organizations specializing in culinary arts. Most people stayed for nearly two hours, meeting other people at a shared table, or just sharing some quality time with family.

Additional funds were raised through a "Chinese Auction" where raffle tickets were sold and buyers could place raffle tickets in bags for items that they wanted. Raffle winners were selected for each item by pulling a ticket from the bag. In the past, I've donated a gift certificate for my services for this kind of auction, but I still have yet to hear from anyone who "won" me, so I decided that my services are best donated by actually documenting the event itself. However, for things like Spinners game tickets, or a jewelry piece, it seems to be a great way to "win" something wonderful.

In the end, all of the money and efforts were going to a great cause - Living Waters Lowell and the Hunger/Homeless Commission of Lowell.

The entire event was made possible because ONE person named Patti, thought it would be a great fundraiser to help strengthen and educate the community about the needs of others within our community. Her effort, combined with the support of a few friends and businesses, made the entire event possible. It's amazing what we can do if we simply decide that we can, and we put in the effort to make it happen. Thank you to everyone who put in the effort and time to help strengthen our community by giving back to those in need.

In the future I hope to spend more time documenting how these funds are used and to tell the stories of those who are helped by efforts like these.

(Technical notes, because these images are being hosted on facebook, some image quality and brightness may be reduced from the original images. To see more from the event, simply click on an image.)

2 comments, to add [click here]:

  1. Oh my Goodness, what a wonderful write up to accompany your fantastic pictures. I'm sure I'm not the first to tell you that writing too is one of your fortes. I can't thank you enough for the wonderful pictures. I would love to bring you down to Living Waters Ministry of Hope for a cup of coffee to meet the director - Diane Waddell. The first hand experience of who they are and what they do for our community will be priceless. They continue to grow and add more services, thanks to good hearts of everyone involved in this event. She can tell you specifically how this event will help them expand. Thanks again for capturing the essence of our 1st Annual Greater Lowell Empty Bowls

  2. How wonderful! Cute bowls, good food and friends...what a great way to spend the day!


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