Good Samaritans Ministries, the local food pantry where we volunteer, partnered with Howard Payne University students to sponsor an "Empty Bowls" fundraising event last week. Local artists and potters made and donated bowls and local restaurants donated soup to fill them. People who attended the event got to keep their bowl, each one-of-a-kind.
I had first heard about Empty Bowls a few years ago and was excited one would be held here. I did not get to attend, but I sent a donation with a friend and she picked out a lovely pottery bowl for me.
For this event in Brownwood, 90% stayed local and a 10% tithe was given to Heifer International (even Christian Organizations practice tithing in grateful thanks for their blessings). I haven't heard the final totals yet, but know it was in the range of several thousand dollars raised!
Empty Bowls events raise money to fight hunger and increase food security. You can learn more here. They have a list of events so you can see if there is one coming up near you.
You could even help put together an event for your town. As unemployment climbs, local needs for food are also going to rise. The lovely thing about Empty Bowls is that it isn't a beaurocratic thing: you can host an event and have all the proceeds stay local, for your Salvation Army, Community Food Pantry or Angel Food Ministries or other local way of helping make sure everyone has enough to eat.