Soup Day 2016 Nets $33,000 to Feed the Needy

Press Release
Friday, Oct. 28, 2016
For Immediate Release

Prepared by
Steve Wong
Spartanburg, SC
864 316 6559

Carolina Clay Artists will give TOTAL Ministries $33,000 as the result of the 2016 Hub City Empty Bowls project.

            “I can’t tell you what this means to TOTAL Ministries,” the charity’s Executive Director Traci Kennedy said. “$33,000 will provide a great many bags of food to the needy people in Spartanburg County this year. This is literally a lifesaver. I can only say ‘thank you’ to Carolina Clay Artists, the people who made the bowls, the people who bought the bowls, the restaurants that made the soup, the volunteers, the sponsors and donors, and all of the other people and business that contributed. Please know, you have helped hundreds of people who would go hungry if not for your generosity.”

            During the summer, Carolina Clay Artists, a group of potters and clay artists who spearhead Hub City Empty Bowls, held three public bowl-making sessions. These were free events where the general public made pottery bowls at no cost. All materials, time, space, and instruction were donated. Many of the bowls were uniquely homemade, often made by children, while others were made by professional or experienced potters. In total 615 people made more than 2,000 bowls that were gathered for Soup Day, which is a fundraiser.

            On Soup Day, Oct. 15, all of the bowls were displayed in Spartanburg Art Museum at Chapman Cultural Center in downtown Spartanburg. Throughout the gallery there were many tables laden with scores of colorful bowls, each one made by someone who wanted to help feed the needy. For every $15 donation, a patron could take whichever bowl he or she wanted and then enjoy a simple meal of soup that was being served in the facility’s theater lobby. The soup was donated by two dozen local restaurants. It was served with live music provided at no cost by local musicians. Nearly 1,500 bowls were taken that day by more than 1,000 people.

            “We are thrilled this was our best year ever,” event Chairman Bruce Bowyer said. “It is always a lot of work, but it is a labor of love. This event is solid proof that people care. We purposely keep it at the grassroots level. People know the money they give is going straight to a good cause. No one at Carolina Clay Artists is paid. But we are proud that we are able to contribute this much toward feeding the needy in Spartanburg. It’s like eating a nice bowl of soup: You get this warm feeling inside.”

            In past years, Carolina Clay Artists would donate the proceeds of Soup Day to various local charities that provided food to Spartanburg’s needy. Now, the Artists and TOTAL Ministries have partnered, allowing the artists to focus on bow-making and TOTAL to focus on fundraising for Hub City Empty Bowls. As a point of comparison, in 2011, Carolina Clay Artists gave TOTAL Ministries $6,700. This year, the donation will be $33,000. “Yes, we call that success,” Bowyer said.