Empty Bowls - Girl Scout style

The Problem

My project will address the issues of homelessness, hunger, and poverty (which are inter-related) through ceramic workshops and an Empty Bowls event (see emptybowls.net). I live in metro Atlanta, GA, where 20% of the residents live below the poverty line, including 1/3 of Atlanta's children. The dire situation of homelessness in my city can be realized just by driving around downtown but moreover by volunteering at jam-packed shelters and transitional housing programs. It is awful to see the distinction between wealthy and poor parts of the city as the income gap continues to expand.

Plan of Action

First, I contacted the Imagine/RENDER group and received an information packet that allowed me to create my own Empty Bowls project. After getting the green light for my project from Girl Scout council, I took some time to re-group and started putting my plan into action. I focused on funding the project through the help of my girl scout service and troop, gift cards, and personal fundraisers (babysitting, making jewelry). I bought my materials needed for the workshops (from a local ceramic center and dickblick.com) and I prepared a model for how the workshops would be run, including how community issues would be discussed. My next step was to identify and contact groups to hold workshops for and set up multiple dates and times with them (with some groups I've just made bowls, with other I have returned to glaze the bowls). My ceramics teacher is letting me fire the project bowls with the school's kiln. As the workshops progressed and I started collecting clay bowls (I've nearly reached my goal of 300 now), I began to focus my attention on the event. I confirmed the use of my school’s lecture hall with my principal at the beginning of this semester, and now I am planning details such as food donors, advertisement, and which charities to invite to speak at the event. I need to plan the timeframe of the evening (how it will be organized) and prepare my role during the event. Approaching the media, sending out invitations to significant guests, and tying up all the loose ends/attending to smaller details are going to be my final steps before the event. So far, I have definitely impacted the people I've done workshops with. I'm showing the community that youth are important benefiters of the community and that community service is fun! I want to say that I've been a good role model for the many younger Girl Scouts whom I've worked with, and many people said during the workshops that working with clay is stress-relieving. I'm really proud of how my project is progressing, and I'm so excited for the event in January!

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