This year, the students, staff, and faculty from the Ross Medical Education Center campus in Kokomo, Indiana volunteered for the Empty Bowls community fundraiser to raise funds for local food programs. Working together, the campus was able to help by serving guests their food and drinks and helping them pick out a bowl to take home. This incredible annual community is hosted by the local Kokomo Urban Outreach.
This is Kokomo Urban Outreach’s 3rd year to put on this annual event. In addition to raising funds for the programs they offer, the event also helps raise awareness of the food insecurities that exist in Howard County. They know that many local people have to often make a choice between food and getting their medication, or even going to the doctor. Last year the organization raised over $17,000 during the event, and this year’s goal was $20,000, which they reached!
There were 700 empty bowls that were hand decorated by children and adults alike from Howard County and that were available for a donation. With each donation, the local resident received a bowl of his or her choice along with a soup dinner, rolls, cookies, and a drink. Later in the evening there was an auction where the organizers auctioned off “celebrity bowls.” These bowls were crafted by local celebrities in the community such as the mayor, a high school art teacher, Tyler Moore County Commissioner, and many more.
Everyone loved being a part of this exciting and impactful event. Shannon Spencer, Kokomo Campus Director, shared, “next year we hope to have our students help make the bowls and perhaps have a celebrity bowl to be auctioned off!” Plans are already being drawn up to help make next year the best year yet!