WILKES-BARRE ‚?? Jean Adams has crafted a lot of pottery bowls in her lifetime, but perhaps none as meaningful as the ones she and a host of other volunteers are making for an upcoming event.
Adams, adjunct faculty at Wilkes University for the past 27 years teaching pottery/ceramics, is leading a community committee in making handcrafted bowls to be sold for the Empty Bowls project that benefits area food banks. Wilkes, King‚??s College, Misericordia University and Luzerne County Community College are participating.
The bowls are being sold for $15 each and proceeds will be donated to the charity of each school‚??s choice. Adams said through the Empty Bowls project, a simple meal of soup in a beautiful handcrafted bowl becomes a way to help feed Wyoming Valley‚??s hungry.
‚??When donors look at their bowls, they will remember that it represents the hunger that is an every day thing for some people in our community,‚?Ě Adams said. ‚??And we should help people who can‚??t help themselves.‚?Ě
Adams said about a year ago she sent about 20 bowls to her sister Barbara Reiter, who was helping with an Empty Bowls project at Chestnut Hill College near Philadelphia.
‚??I can remember thinking we should do this here in Wilkes-Barre,‚?Ě Adams said. ‚??There was no reason why we couldn‚??t.‚?Ě
So Adams contacted people in the community and a committee was formed to get the project rolling. Less than a year later, Adams and the other volunteers are making soup bowls ‚?? each as unique as the people they will help. Adams has made more than 750 bowls herself ‚?? and hopes to make 1,000.
The original goal was to make 1,100 bowls, but Adams said she wants to offer donors more choices. Each bowl sells for $15 and donors will attend one of four dinners on Oct. 28 ‚?? each participating college will host its own ‚?? from noon to 3 p.m. Included is a bowl of soup, bread and a drink.
‚??And each person donating receives the satisfaction of helping people who can‚??t afford to buy food for themselves,‚?Ě Adams said. ‚??There‚??s a very real need out there.‚?Ě
Tina Sherwood of Bear Creek met Adams when she took a class years ago, and the two became friends. Sherwood has made 30 bowls so far and hopes to make 50 to 70 more.
Sherwood said the Empty Bowls project goes beyond the initial purchase and the event.
‚??They will take the bowls home and every time they use it or look at it, they will be reminded of the need to help and to keep helping,‚?Ě she said.
Adams recently had several volunteers making bowls in Bedford Hall Annex on South River Street. Christine Pocono, Swoyersville, has made more than 110 bowls; Mary Lou Steinberg, Kingston, more than 75; Ann Janecek, Mountain Top, more than 80; Dan Sekera, 60 bowls and counting; Will Butkiewicz of Kingston said he will make at least 10 bowls and Anastasya Menaker, Kingston, arrived to start making her first bowl.
‚??It‚??s a group effort,‚?Ě Adams said.
Other key helpers in the project include Skip Sensbach, Lyn Carey, Kitty Costello, Frank Goryl, Barbara Gelb and Barbara Shaffer. The Empty Bowls committee members are Adams, Ken Marquis, Sensbach, Rebecca Van Jura, Virginia Davis, Suzanne McCabe, Peter Lello, Mildred Urban and Bridget Giunta.
Four colleges and universities -- King‚??s College, Luzerne County Community College, Misericordia University and Wilkes University ‚?? are participating.
When: Oct. 28, 1 to 4 p.m.
Cost: For a $15 donation, attendees receive a handcrafted bowl, soup, bread and a drink. For $5, children under 12 receive soup, bread and a drink. Additional bowls will be for sale.
Proceeds: Will be donated to the following local agencies that work to address hunger problems: the Weinberg Food Bank, the Back Mountain Food Pantry, the Luzerne County Community College Food Bank and St. Vincent de Paul Kitchen.
Where: The event will take place simultaneously in the following locations:
King‚??s College: Sheehy-Farmer Campus Center, third floor
Luzerne County Community College, conference center dining room
Misericordia University: Insalaco Building, Room 218 (Huntzinger) and Room 219 (Alden)
Wilkes University: Henry Student Center ballroom
Tickets: To purchase tickets or learn more, visit www.wilkes.edu/emptybowls. Tickets also are being sold at Marquis Art & Frame, 122 South Main St., Wilkes-Barre; and Earth & Wears, 68 Main St., Dallas.