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Cultural Event: Bowl Painting

This past weekend, I participated in an event in preparation for a fundraiser called ‘Empty Bowls’ with the Second Harvest Food Bank. I did this at the Girl Scout Learning Center near my home in Greensboro. From about 9:00 to 12:00 I, along with a number of other Girl Scouts and volunteers, painted clay bowls. As I mentioned before, these bowls will be used at a fundraiser event in April.  At this fundraiser, guests will pay a door fee of $25 to $30, have lunch, and receive one of the painted bowls. The bowls will remain empty throughout the event in order to symbolize those who have to go without food on a daily basis. The proceeds will go to a food distribution program that collects and transports donated food to about 400 non-profit organizations. The proceeds also benefit the Childhood Hunger programs; these programs feed hungry, local children.

My mom is in a group called Trefoil Guild, which is an organization that consists of women and men who used to be Girl Scout leaders. She, along with other members of the guild, attended this event. Since I love art, she asked me to join her.  We sat at a table with three young girls who were in 4th or 5th grade. One girl’s father was there and another one’s grandmother came as well. Most of the time in college, I speak with people my age, so it was interesting to talk to 4th graders and also to talk to someone much older.

There are also other volunteer opportunities available with the Second Harvest Food Bank organization. There are some simple volunteer jobs like answering the phones or filing papers but there are also some interesting ones such as tutoring children and serving meals.  I enjoyed the Bowl Painting event but I would love to actually work face to face with the people that this organization is actually benefiting.  The idea of food banking actually began in the late 1960’s in Arizona. A retired business man named John Van Hengel was volunteering at a local soup kitchen when he decided to begin soliciting donations of food products from grocery stores. The food he got donated was food that would have been thrown out and wasted. Soon he had collected so much food that it was too much for the soup kitchen to handle. Hengel decided to set up a warehouse in which he could store the donated products and distribute them to charities. The warehouse he created was the first food back ever to be established.

Personally, I liked this event. It was a fun way to spend a Saturday morning. I think sometimes people forget that small actions can actually improve other people’s lives. There are 23 million people across the country who receive food assistance. About 9 million of these people are children under the age of 18.  It’s impossible to feed everyone in the country of course, but it’s not impossible to help some of them. I had heard of the Second Harvest Food Bank before but I’d never really looked into what they do and I also never realized how much volunteering they accomplished.

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