Clay students help with Empty Bowls fundraiser

Katie Sisk

Raising over $13,000 for STEP, the 10th annual Empty Bowls event succeeded in gaining funds with the help of bowls created and donated by Benilde-St. Margaret’s clay students. This fundraiser, held on March 3, gathered money in the spirit of helping to fill our community’s empty bowls.

Benilde-St. Margaret’s has been donating bowls and sending volunteers to the event since the very beginning. “This is their 10th anniversary, and we’ve been doing it for ten years,” said Ms. Theresa Puffer, the clay teacher.

For all ten years, guests have received student-made bowls, free soup, bread, and live music and entertainment. “People come into this event, and they have music and they serve soup and bread…people just decide what they want to donate,” said Ms. Puffer.

The event is a good time for all, but its primary purpose is to raise both money and awareness for families who cannot afford food, and its success can be seen in the influence it has on all who attended. “You could just really tell how it was impacting the people in a positive way… it’s just one of those little things we can do to help out, and all those little things make a difference,” said senior Hannah Corbett, who attended the event.

Benilde-St. Margaret’s helps STEP make a difference by donating anywhere between 50 to 80 bowls for the event every year. “Over two semesters I would say close to 60 to 70 percent of the clay students participate,” said Ms. Puffer.

This participation requires the clay students to make small sacrifices in the spirit of helping those who cannot afford food. “I ask students to pick out their best bowl, which is really hard for a lot of people to do,” said Ms. Puffer.

These sacrifices pay off, as better bowls means more success for the event. “I want there to be a certain quality to the bowls we donate because that draws more money from the donation,” said Ms. Puffer.

The students who provide bowls for the event gain a sense of worth in their artwork in return for their donation. “I think it’s great if students can realize that with their artwork they can help someone else,” said Ms. Puffer.

Some students have taken participation a step further and volunteered at the event. “A lot of students who have worked the events said that one of the best parts is being there and seeing how it happens…I encourage students to go there just to see the public response to it,” said Ms. Puffer.

Students who do attend the event have a good time and enjoy helping out. “I did it last year, and I did it this year, and I would definitely do it again,” said sophomore Marielle Arostegui, who volunteered at Empty Bowls with RKVC.