Keeping Empty Bowls alive

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By The Staff

There are many people throughout the community who have talent beyond imagination.

There are also those who couldn’t match their own socks without assistance. The good news is that if you reside anywhere on that spectrum, then there is a project for you.

Self Help Inc., and its major fundraiser, The Empty Bowls Project, was in jeopardy of ending with the 2008 event, until Gillian Sutton of KRSN, AM 1490, stepped up to the ladle and the paintbrush to volunteer.

Sutton, the event coordinator for 2009 and her traveling tricks of the trade have covered many locations throughout the community looking for volunteers to paint bowls for the event in March.

“We would love to have your group paint bowls for us,” Sutton said. “We come as a kit with the bowls, glazes, brushes, etc. to set up wherever you meet. It only takes an hour or two.”

Self Help is a local powerhouse, committed to enhancing life skills and empowering individuals by providing programs and services that focus on developing self-reliance.

The winner of the prestigious Piñon Award, Self Help is also a nonprofit organization that may be seeing some tough times ahead with the national economy.

The program dedicated to supporting those in need in northern New Mexico, since 1969 has provided consultation and advocacy, emergency financial assistance and seed money grants to residents of Los Alamos, northern Santa Fe, Rio Arriba and Taos counties.  

This is the 16th Annual Empty Bowls project.

The goal for 2009 is 800 bowls, which are each done by hand.

“They have been painted by the Good News Clubs, the YMCA after school program, Access Art, Church of Christ Youth Group, middle school students, The Española Teen Center, and others,” Sutton said, who has scheduled an equal number of events for the  future.

The events in the hopper include painting parties with The First Methodist Church, The Los Alamos and White Rock Church of Latter-day Saints, The Youth Activity Centers, elementary school and high school students.

The next goal is an additional 200 bowls to be completed at the community bowl painting party, where all ages can paint.

“Small children have more fun if someone helps them,” Sutton said, and the glazes are water soluble and food grade quality.

The painting party will be held from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday at the Bethlehem Evangelical Lutheran church located at 2390 North Road.

The party’s purpose is  to glaze bowls in preparation for event, as well as have some fun and refreshments.

There is no admission for the event, just your creativity.

Self Help thrives in the community each year, through grants, private and public contributions and enormous donations of time like that of Sutton.

To learn more about Self Help, Inc call 662-4666. To learn more about the community painting party or to host your own event, free of charge, call Sutton at 663-1490 or contact her via e-mail at Gillian@krsnam1490.com.

The Empty Bowls fundraiser will be held in March 14 at the Betty Ehart Senior Center.