Note: This post is sponsored by Frost Bank. Thank you for supporting the brands I love!
Last summer, the kids and I participated in a 30-Day Optimism challenge with Frost Bank. We completed 30 simple challenges to inspire optimism, things like buying coffee for a stranger and introducing ourselves to neighbors on our street we’ve never met. One of the challenges I still make an effort to incorporate into our weekly routine is taking a 20 minute walk without my phone. (You should try it!) I was excited to partner with Frost Bank again this summer to inspire optimism by giving back to our community.
We were asked to partner with a local charity from the CultureMap charity guide. Since crafting is such a big part of our lives, I was thrilled to get the kids involved and use our skills to make ceramic bowls to donate to the Empty Bowl Project. We invited a few friends over and had Courtney from Brush Strokes Pottery help us paint bowls to donate to the big event.
What is the Empty Bowl Project?
The Austin Empty Bowl Project is an annual, family friendly event held the Sunday before Thanksgiving with the goal that no child goes hungry. Local potters donate ceramic bowls and local restaurants donate gourmet soup and bread. The money raised goes to Kids Cafe, a program of the Central Texas Food Bank, and Meals for Kids, a program of Meals on Wheels Central Texas. Attendees get to take the handmade bowl home as a reminder that others have empty bowls.
Volunteering with Kids
I love the idea that everyone has something to give. Kids included! Partnering with Frost and the Empty Bowl Project was a great opportunity to talk to my kids about life outside of our bubble. We live in central Austin and are exposed to homelessness often. We have first-hand experience with a homeless man named Jerry who panhandles on a corner near the grocery store we shop at regularly. Max and Mila know he likes pickled carrots and always remind me to buy him a jar at the store. They know Jerry doesn’t have a home.
The Empty Bowl Project opened their eyes to the idea that some kids in Austin don’t have homes either. Maxwell was shocked to hear that some kids not only don’t have homes, but don’t get to eat breakfast, lunch, dinner, and multiple snacks every day. The kids were happy to know that their art was being donated to help feed kids.
How to donate bowls to Austin Empty Bowl Project
If you’re not a potter, you can donate bowls via a local clay studio like Brush Strokes Pottery. Courtney from Brush Strokes Pottery made the bowl painting process super simple. She brought all of the supplies needed to make the ceramic bowls to my house! She set everything up, let the kids pick out their colors, gave a mini lesson, and then set them free to paint their bowls. She takes care of firing the bowls in the kiln and I simply deliver the bowls to the event. Courtney did an awesome job leading the kids through the bowl painting process and made clean up a breeze!
The Benefits of Generosity
Frost Bank is on a mission to spread optimism, and being generous is a rewarding way to get yourself into an optimistic mindset. The kids were thrilled to make art and give it away knowing their hard work will help feed kids. Studies show giving is good for you! Being generous reduces blood pressure, lowers stress, improves relationships, and makes us happy! Check out this link for more research on the role optimism plays in your life.
Did you know that optimism is a learned trait? Studies show that optimism is about 25% inheritable. How cool is that? I’m thankful to partner with so many local folks to share the joy of giving back with the next generation. Thank you Frost Bank, Empty Bowl Project, Brush Strokes Pottery, Sarah Schiffman for taking beautiful photographs, and my friend, Annie, for bringing her kiddos over to paint and donate bowls.
Have you ever painted pottery? Do you volunteer with your kids? I’d love to hear…