Wednesday, April 25, 2007

    Empty Bowls Project

    The youth of the inner-city church I serve recently took part in the Empty Bowls Project. This project enlists young people to raise awareness and funds for the problem of hunger:

    In 1990 a high school art teacher in Michigan helped his students solve a problem. They were searching for a way to raise funds to support a food drive. What evolved was a class project to make ceramic bowls for a fund raising meal. Guests were served a simple meal of soup and bread, and were invited to keep the bowl as a reminder of hunger in the world. By the following year the originators had developed this concept into Empty Bowls, a project to provide support for food banks, soup kitchens, and other organizations that fight hunger.

    In our version of the project, the young folk created "artsy" paper mache bowls which were then auctioned off following worship. The funds were donated to Food Outreach, a local organization that provides nutritional food and diet help to those suffering from HIV and AIDS. This project would make a great outreach effort for any youth group.
    --Brian

    1 comments:

    Brian said...

    A friend and colleague of mine who is HIV+ asked me to RETHINK the phrase in this post that says the money from our project went to a "local organization that provides nutritional food and diet help to those suffering from HIV and AIDS." Rather than using the word "suffering," he encouraged me in the future to use the word "living." This is an important distinction, certainly. When we refer to someone as "suffering" from a disease, it serves to reduce that individual's identity to be all about the disease. Whereas, if we understand people as "living" with HIV/AIDS, we acknowledge the value and dignity of their life and personhood. The disease is only a part of their experience -- not the totality.