When we were young, many of us enjoyed playing super hero – at least at Halloween. We would pin on our capes, slip on a mask, and fly out into the world to right wrongs. But as we got older, our super powers got smaller, and the wrongs of the world seemed to get larger. Poverty, despair, hunger – these are problems we’re all aware of, but to many of us, they are simply too big. “It’s too big!” we say to ourselves, “Ican’t fix it…” And so the problem grows larger, and we feel smaller. It’s very easy, especially as an adult, to adopt a mentality of “It’s me against the world.” It’s a notion that gets ingrained into us early on, both in school and as we enter into the job market. We are encouraged to think that we have to depend solely on ourselves and our own resources to solve whatever problems we are confronted with. And while self-reliance is good, relying solely on oneself can cause problems as well.
But it doesn’t have to be that way. The answer to tackling the world’s problems has been in front of us our entire lives. We see examples of it every day, even in our day-to-day lives, but we take it for granted. The first moon landing, the interstate highway system, the Empire State building, the pyramids – these were all huge tasks, and they weren’t accomplished by one individual with amazing powers and talents. No one person could have accomplished any of these. These enormous tasks all have one thing in common – they could only be done by people working together, people like you and me, contributing what skills they had to offer.
The secret is that each and every one of us can make a difference. No contribution is too small or too unimportant, so long as we are working together toward a common goal. Neal Armstrong may have taken that first small step, but he could not have gotten there to take that step without the work and dedication of thousands of others who each did their small part toward solving a problem that was far too big for any one person. When we work together, no problem is too big.
Hunger is a big problem in our country. Recent studies indicate that about 1 in every 6 people across America do not know where their next meal is coming from. And even worse, that number is 1 in every 5 for children. These are our neighbors, schoolmates, co-workers and friends. These children are our future. They are all people just like you and me, working as best they can to provide for themselves and their families. But the problems have grown too big for some of them to deal with on their own. Rising costs and unemployment mean that some of these families have to choose between having a roof over their heads or having a meal. Working on their own, they make the best choices they can, but the problem is too big for them to solve alone. They need help. They need a hero.
That’s where you come in. You can make a difference – you can be a super hero. St. James United Methodist Church is organizing Bowling Green’s Seventh Annual Empty Bowls Event to be held on February 19, and we invite you to help us, as we join together to make a difference in our community. For the last several months, we have been inviting people in our community to make pottery bowls to donate to the event. In addition, we have asked local restaurants and chefs to provide us with soup and other food for the event. Already we have been impressed by what can be done when the community works together, but now it is time for the last few steps, and that’s where you come in. On February 19, the Seventh Annual Empty Bowls event will be at the Sloan Convention Center in Bowling Green. At 5 p.m. we will be opening the doors and inviting the public to join us in a special evening to help end hunger in our community. We are asking that each adult attending make a minimum $15 donation. And as our way of saying thank you, each person attending will get to select the handmade ceramic bowl of their choice and will be served a meal of soup, a beverage and dessert. All of the money donated will be given to area food pantries – Manna Mart, run by HOTEL INC, and the Life Care Ministry, run by the University Church of Christ. The bowl that you choose is yours to keep, and in addition to being a beautiful addition to your home, it serves as a reminder that there are still friends right here in Warren County facing empty bowls at meal time. It also is a reminder that you made a difference in someone’s life.
So if you can, please plan on attending the Seventh Annual Empty Bowls Event at the Sloan Convention Center on February 19. For a small donation, you will get a fine meal, and a beautiful bowl, but more importantly, you will provide food for an entire family that otherwise might go to bed hungry. If you can, please take a little time and spend just a little money to make a miracle happen right here in our own community. Be a hero. Be a “souper” hero. You can make a difference. Help us feed the hungry—one bowl at a time.
The Sloan Convention Center is located at 1021 Wilkinson Trace. We will have hundreds of handmade bowls, which will be available on a first come, first served basis. The event will begin at 5 p.m. and will run until 8 p.m. or until we run out of bowls, whichever comes first. If you would like more information, or would like to contribute, you can contact us via the “Contact” page on our website at www.emptybowlsbg.com or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Even if you cannot attend, please help us out by spreading the word of the event to your friends and families – we each can make a difference by doing what we can to help.
-by Garry Taylor