Empty Bowls, Full Hearts


Visit the website for Empty Bowls 2013

On January 21st, Malvern Prep hosted its fifth annual Empty Bowls event to benefit Bethesda Project in Philadelphia. Hundreds of people gathered in the Dougherty Hall gym to enjoy a night of music, company, and of course, soup. For those in Ms. Plows’ homeroom, it is the event that they have been working relentlessly for since September, and they made the event into a tremendous success. Over 969 bowls made and painted by students, teachers, alumni, and parents were created, and over 20 unique pieces created by teachers, students, and local artists were featured in a silent auction. An incredible amount of work goes into this one night, and it was a huge success.

This year, the event was held on Martin Luther King, Jr. day, a national day of service, very fitting for the event. King sought to help the African Americans who were persecuted and discriminated against for the color of their skin, always fighting for their rights. In our own city of Philadelphia, over 13,000 people are homeless annually, but thousands each year find shelter through generous organizations like the Bethesda Project. Everyone leaves the event with an empty soup bowl, serving as a reminder that many people have empty bowls every night, but you made a difference.

Empty Bowls ‘13 was chaired by seniors Matt Cornell, Matt Miller, and Colin Pawlowski.  Juniors Jackson Connor, Conor Glancy, Dan McGlinn, Andrew Powers, Mike Stangis, and Brian Tatlow served as chairs-at-large this year, and will be leading the student involvement in next year’s event.

There was a unique new addition to the January 21 event – live music. Simon Apple, a Philadelphia-based band came to play for the duration of the event, and their music was met with rave reviews.  Mr. David Miller, parent of Matt ‘13, played saxophone as the band featured classic rock standards and some original music.  Many enjoyed the accompaniment of live music while they enjoyed their savory soups from local restaurants. Andrew Powers noted, “ I think the band really added something special to the whole aura of the event.”

Ms. Kate Plows, faculty advisor for Empty Bowls, remarked, “Empty Bowls is a way of teaching that we have a responsibility to use our talents in the service of others. Even though it is an extracurricular activity, it is intimately connected to the mission of what we do as a school.”  This year’s Empty Bowls t-shirt had on the back of it this quote from William James, “Act as if what you do makes a difference. It does.” This quote was selected by the student chairs of the event, as a reminder that it is important for students to use their talents in the service of others.

Did you miss Empty Bowls ‘13?  From now though Valentine’s Day, there are bowls left over from the event filled with Valentine’s Day candies for $10 each, with the full proceeds towards the Empty Bowls donation to Bethesda Project.

The student chairs hope to be able to announce the total donation amount in mid-February.  Plows predicts that this donation will top last year’s total of $11,034.