Empty Bowl returned for its 13th year on March 23 at Peace Lutheran Church in a community effort to help those who are hungry and without a home. The event sold out for both the lunch and dinner seatings, and the extra donations that poured in helped stretch the Empty Bowl efforts further, making it the most successful year to date.

Together, the community raised over $30,000 to help its homeless neighbors. This will give 93 people struggling with homelessness one full week of shelter and care, with all-inclusive wraparound services, such as food, clothing, a warm bed, case management, job training, transportation to appointments, housing assistance, and more.

“This event literally helps save lives,” said Nancy Baglietto, Executive Director of Hospitality House. “Our community is incredible. Hundreds of people volunteered their time and talent to raise awareness and support for those in need. Over 700 bowls were donated by local artists to help our homeless shelter. We are immensely grateful.”

Crowds lined up as early as 11 a.m. to be the first to select their special handmade bowl. Dozens of volunteers and restaurants prepared their tasty offerings for participants to fill their bowls. The event also included silent auction pieces, all gifted by local artists, and a restaurant raffle at each seating, made possible by Twelve 28 Kitchen and Sopa Thai Cuisine.

This event serves as an important reminder of what a simple bowl of soup can do for a person who is hungry, cold and living on the streets. Empty Bowl concluded with a special opportunity to hear from two individuals currently staying at the shelter, who shared their personal struggles with homelessness.

“Many thanks to the public for your support. Without you, some of us would be lost or simply dead,” said Randy Miller, a homeless guest at the shelter who bravely shared his story at the event. “We cannot thank you all enough for what you have done for us. Life may not be a fairytale, but there is at least hope now.”

Donations to help those in need at Hospitality House can still be made at hhshelter.org or by mailing a gift to Hospitality House at 1262 Sutton Way, Grass Valley, CA 95945.

Further support for Empty Bowl came from generous local sponsors, including: BriarPatch Co-Op; Telestream; SPD Markets; Dignity Health Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital; Nevada County Realtors Association; Peters Well Drilling; Ace Propane; Northern California Mortgage; KVMR; Peace Lutheran Church; Kathy Dotson Designs; YubaNet; The Union; Peace Lutheran Church; and Sierra Nevada Credit Union.