Communication Builds Our Community

Care Center Empty Bowls Event Jan. 28 Supports Hunger Relief

Annual Event Kicks Off Ministry's 35th Anniversary

The Lake Wales Care Center on Tuesday, Jan. 28 will kick off its 35th Anniversary with its annual Empty Bowls event that calls attention to the fact that many people face hunger every day.

The free event raises funds for local hunger relief programs through the sale of bowls painted by community leaders, artists and local "celebrities." Area restaurants donate soup for the event, which begins at 5:30 p.m. in the Family Life Center of the First Presbyterian Church of Lake Wales, 16 N. 3rd Street.

Empty Bowls is a nationwide program begun in 1990 by an art teacher wanting to teach his students about community involvement. The basic idea for Empty Bowls is simple - participants paint beautiful ceramic bowls that are then auctioned off at the event.

Guests come to the event and bid on a bowl to keep as a reminder that there are always Empty Bowls in the world. In exchange for a soup meal and the bowl, the guest gives their bid donation to a local charity to help fight hunger. Numerous local artists, including Tom Freeman and Marcia Pennington, paint bowls for the auction.

From 5:30 to 6:45 p.m. the event features a silent auction, soup tasting and live entertainment. The live auction is scheduled for 6:15 to 6:45 p.m. and the auction featuring Judge's Choice bowls that have higher starting bids wraps up by 7 p.m.

In addition to the auction of "celebrity" bowls, participants can pay a fixed price of $5 to $15 to take home a specialty bowl as a reminder to pray for those with Empty Bowls. Various sizes are available.

The Lake Wales Care Center is a faith based community service organization which demonstrates Christ's love by building bridges between people in need and people with a desire to serve. Its hunger relief programs include:

Food Pantry & Basic Needs - Care Center provides tangible resources such as FOOD, clothing, furniture, household items to families seeking assistance. We are also able to provide financial help with rent/mortgage, utilities, Rx, gas, and lodging.

Holiday Assistance - FOOD BASKETS are provided at special times of the year for local families who work hard throughout the year to make ends meet. Food drives help stock our Food Pantry with enough food to fill these baskets.

Meals On Wheels - Meals on Wheels provides one well-balanced noon MEAL each weekday to area shut-ins. Meals are prepared daily by AdventHealth Lake Wales are delivered to the recipients' homes by volunteer drivers.

Transitional Housing - Transitional Housing helps families in crisis stay together - a real hand up and not just a hand out. Families stabilize and NUTRITION improves.

Community Kitchen - Each Sunday, different churches and other groups throughout our community provide a hot MEAL to anyone who would like to come enjoy the food or just a time of encouragement and fellowship.

For more information, to donate or to become a volunteer, call the Care Center at 863-676-6678, email [email protected] or visit the website at


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