"Empty Bowls" to Help Go-Getters Address Hunger and Homelessness

October 25th, 2010
Outside of Go-Getters, Jackie and Earl Bell with Shirley Cockrell (middle), who directs the center
Some of the more than 100 bowls that are part of the event to benefit Go-Getters

Some of the more than 100 bowls that are part of the event to benefit Go-Getters

Empty Bowls” melds the desire for creative expression with the hope for social justice. It began in Michigan almost twenty years ago, and has grown into an international movement driven by grassroots projects. The goals of the movement are to raise awareness about hunger and food insecurity, raise money for organizations fighting hunger, and foster an attitude that will not tolerate hunger.

In southwest Detroit, our Go-Getters Drop-in Center is on the front lines of fighting hunger and homelessness. Each day it is open, the center provides a warm and welcoming environment for about 70 homeless or formerly homeless individuals, all of whom are dealing with mental illness. Go-Getters serves a hot, nutritious lunch to about 50 people. For most, this meal is the greater part of their sustenance for the day.

To benefit Go-Getters, we are holding an Empty Bowls event on Friday, November 12, 6-9 PM at Piquette Square for Veterans. Piquette Square is located at 6221 Brush Street, Detroit, 48202.

For a $25 admission, you will share in a festive evening of art, good food and great company. You will also leave with one of the ceramic bowls decorated by mental health consumers, veterans at Piquette, and agency staff and supporters.

There will be a silent auction of bowls decorated by local artists, including Freddie Harris. Freddie is a talented artist who had been homeless for a dozen years before moving into a Southwest Housing Solutions apartment two years ago. Go-Getters was instrumental in helping Freddie. His story is featured in the short film “How to Save a Life.”

“I wanted to make a bowl because I wanted to give back,” Freddie says.

The Go-Getters Empty Bowls event is organized by Cathie Baldwin, who serves on the Southwest Counseling Solutions Board, and her Detroit neighbors Jackie and Earl Bell.

“Because of hard times in our city, hunger and homelessness are on the rise, and we must come together as a community and make sure that every child, family and adult have adequate food and shelter,” Cathie says. “Go-Getters does tremendous work with limited resources to help those in need. With our help, it could serve many more.”

The Bells are retired educators who have helped arrange other Empty Bowl events in the area. They are also artists. For the Go-Getters benefit, they worked with more than 150 people who created the bowls that will be displayed and offered.

“It’s so rewarding to see people work on their bowls and then watch their amazement when they realize they’ve made something beautiful and artistic with their own hands,” Jackie says.

“It’s like a transformation,” Earl adds.

Proceeds from the Empty Bowls event will be used to update Go-Getters’ kitchen, which is old and in disrepair.

To RSVP, please email Cathie Baldwin or call her at 313.259.7522.

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