Empty Bowls Event Raises Funds
for Our Services
The recent Empty Bowls event hosted nearly 400 attendees, successfully raised much-needed funds and increased awareness about crises, health care, food insecurity and hunger in Nassau County. Luncheon guests enjoyed the simple meal of soup, bread and dessert. Attendees chose their favorite handcrafted bowls, from a selection of more than 1,000 to take home as a reminder of all the many bowls throughout Nassau County that still need to be filled.
Last year, thanks in part to this fundraiser and food partnerships, the Barnabas Food Pantry distributed over 250,000 pounds of food to our county's neighbors in need. In fact, more than 13 percent, or almost 10,000 of Nassau County's residents, are rarely sure how they will get enough to eat in the next few days. More than 3,000 of these individuals are children.
The Empty Bowls event highlights the daily struggles that many local people face, including whether to put food on their table, pay their rent or utility bills, purchase medications or buy gas for their vehicle. These individuals and families seek help at Barnabas every day for a wide range of services such as food from our food pantry, emergency rent and utility payments, medical, dental and other health care, and more. We could not fulfill our commitment to help them without the generous community and sponsor support for not only the annual Empty Bowls event, but all year long.
We are deeply grateful for the participation of all contributors and sponsors, especially the support of the Delores Barr Weaver Forever Event Fund, established 2015.
were The Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island, and Baptist Medical Center Nassau. Platinum Sponsors included Omni Resorts Amelia Island Plantation, WestRock, Henry Berghoef and Leslie Lauer Berghoef, Darrell "Woody" and Yvonne Brandon, and David and Judy Easterly.
was Coastal Engagements.
Silver Sponsors included Rotary Club of Amelia Island Sunrise, Rick Keffer Dodge Chrysler Jeep RAM, Family Support Services, Publix Super Markets Charities, Nassau Health Foods, Compass Self Storage, Encore Event Technologies, Jack and Jane Dickison, Andrea and Corky Hoffman, Curtis and Enid Meltzer, Beverly Sampson, and John and Julia Taylor.
were Doing Dishes, Curtiss H. Lasserre Real Estate Inc., CBC National Bank, The Malpeis Outfit LLC, Bob and Mary Williams, Mark and Donna Paz Kaufman, Tania R. Yount, Wanda Lanier, Guy Petty and Mary Anne Sharer, Adolphus White and Kara Williams, Linda Ellis, Callahan Philly Steak Shop & Pizzeria, Tony Jarzyna and Sue Gottesmann-Jarzyna. And
included Amelia Coastal Realty, Northeast Florida Community Hospice, Edward Jones Investments, First Federal Bank of Florida, Digital Village, Intervention Project for Nurses, Women's Center of Jacksonville, Dr. Laurie Kitson, and Don and Marguerite Shaw.
Months before the fundraiser, several bowl painting parties were held in Nassau County with participants ranging in age from 6 to 75 years old and included members of our local Boys & Girls Clubs. Additional bowls were also donated from Jacksonville University and the University of North Florida.
We also want to thank the numerous volunteers who contributed to the success of the event, including 21 volunteers from the Amelia Island Sunrise Rotary Club, the Fernandina Beach High School Chorus for their beautiful presentation, and Encore Event Technologies for their video expertise.
Two recipients of our services were highlighted in the video, debuted during the event, and briefly spoke about their gratitude to attendees:
Pat lives in a homeless shelter and expressed her thanks to everyone for supporting Barnabas so people can receive the help they need. "I was having trouble dealing with some tough situations at the shelter. So when I started going to the Barnabas Life Skills classes, I learned how to better handle those situations. And now I help other women in the shelter by sharing what I've learned. Without Barnabas, I don't know how I would have coped. Barnabas gave me hope," said Pat.
Sandra stopped by Barnabas one day, looking for health care information. She found so much more. "Not only did I get the dental care I really needed, I was also thankful to learn about the food pantry and women's support groups. I am an example of how Barnabas takes care of people in our community who need a helping hand. I am so thankful I went to Barnabas that day. Barnabas changed my life," said Sandra.
Click the photo below to view photos from the event.