Kaitlin Leonard ‘14
(From the Chestnut Hill College Griffin, November 2010)
|CHC student DJ Lynch Serves Soup (Photo by Ashley Pavone, CHC '11)|
Benefitters of the Dinner
The Empty Bowl Dinner is sponsored by Northwest Philadelphia Interfaith Hospitality Network (NPIHN), an organization that offers it’s services to those in need. NPIHN is mainly a volunteer-based network that provides housing, food, counseling and tutoring to families in need. Everything at the Empty Bowl Dinner has been donated by the community. The ceramic bowls are made by the community, the soup is donated by local restaurants (each are asked to donate at least 5 gallons), and Chartwells donates the bread and desserts. Students are asked to make a nominal contribution of $5 (admission is $15 for everyone else).
Sister Mindy Welding, Director of Campus Ministry, enjoys working the Empty Bowl Dinner every season and enjoys seeing alumni come out to help. “Throughout the years students have been more and more enthusiastic working the Empty Bowl,” Welding says. “Even if you don’t want to work the EmptyBowl, Come!” This is Welding’s fifth year working the event and she is most proud of watching how students will go even further than the Empty Bowl Dinner in helping those in need, such as volunteering in children’s hospitals and at shelters.
Executive Director of NPIHN Rachel Falkove has been participating in the Empty Bowl Dinner at the College since the beginning; NPIHN makes an announcement to the community and people con-
tribute. “Everybody does a little bit and can make a difference,” Falkove says.
Schools and Girl Scout Troops help with the pottery and Chartwells Dining Service helps with beverages and desserts. “I could not have done this without Chestnut Hill’s students, and the families
|Bowls Made by Local Schools (Photo by Ashley Pavone, CHC '11)|
Attendance Numbers Increase Every Year
More and more students each year are becoming a bigger part of the Empty Bowl Dinner, “It opened up a new way of doing charitable work,” said Mary Kate Whalen ’13, a student at the College who worked the Empty Bowl last year. “I had a chance to ladle the soup, it was a lot of fun and the soup was fantastic.” Not only are students getting a chance to help the community, but it seems they are walking away with something so much more meaningful. “I’m all for helping your own community,” said Whalen. “I’m now, through our work study program, a community liaison. We volunteer at the blood drive and are going to participate in the Alzheimer’s walk that is coming up soon.” Whalen thanks the Empty Bowl for getting her started on the right path of helping those in need.
The Best Part of Fall Semester
It’s clear that the Empty Bowl dinner has developed quite a following over the years. With the hopes that many more attend the dinner this year, the NPIHN as well as the College wish to raise even more money for those in need. Considering its high reputation with the volunteers, as well as the students, the turn out should be just as anticipated, if not better. Falkove agrees and is quite pleased with how successful and quick the Empty Bowl has developed a name for itself in the community. “Now I know it’s really fall because it’s time for an Empty Bowl dinner,” Falkove said.
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