Hunger remains a local issue, impacting many families and children within our community. That’s why Lakota Local Schools opt to be involved
in a special initiative that benefits two food programs that serve our local West Chester and Liberty families.
Sponsored by Caring Community Collaborative (C3) as part of its mission to address community needs in West Chester and Liberty townships, the Empty Bowls program supports Reach Out Lakota and the Faith Alliance Summer Lunch Program.
Last year, Lakota students participated in many aspects of the program – from creating artwork such as painting bowls and decorating placemats to volunteering at the community luncheon. About $5,000 was raised at the event, which was attended by families, community members and local leaders who enjoyed a lunch of soup, breads and desserts provided by local chefs and restaurants.
This year, more than 1,500 Lakota students are participating in some fashion.
And the hand-crafted bowls play a central role, serving as a symbolic reminder of the hunger in our community. Each attendee gets to choose his or her bowl for the lunch, then takes the ceramic bowl home following the event.
“It’s great to see the students’ understanding grow as they participate in this project,” states Lance Green, principal at Freedom Elementary. “We make it more than a simple art project, so that the students comprehend the reasons why their bowls can make a difference to others. They’re so proud that their artwork actually plays a role in helping feed the hungry.”
Even younger students get involved, with students at the Early Childhood Schools crafting placemats and decorating bags that will be used at the luncheon. And many junior high and high school students volunteer at the event, helping with set-up and clean-up and clearing tables. The high school jazz bands also typically perform, providing background music at the event.
“It's great that we're able to help address a community-wide need through support of two worthy community organizations. Our students continue to participate in such important roles, which emphasizes service to others,” said C3 President and Lakota Board President Lynda O’Connor.
Those interested can purchase a handcrafted bowl or buy a ticket to the main event at Liberty Center over the next two weeks: October 22 from 4-7 p.m. at The Living Room or October 29 from noon – 3 p.m. at Pet Parade.
Saturday, November 5 is the Empty Bowls community luncheon at Liberty Center’s Sabin Hall, with two seatings: one at 11 a.m. and the second at 12:30 p.m. Donations are $25 per person
For more information, email contact@C3ohio.org.
All year long, Lakota students and staff work tirelessly to support causes that make a difference in the lives of others right here in West Chester and Liberty townships. After all, the best way to show our appreciation for a community that gives our schools so much is to give right back to it. Look for more “Lakota Gives Back” stories as the year continues.