Empty Bowls annual fundraiser turns Grab & Go this year

By Megan Wehring

DRIPPING SPRINGS — For more than 20 years, the city of Dripping Springs and Helping Hands have partnered to feed hundreds through the Empty Bowls Project Fundraiser.

“We are very proud of the work we do,” said Lindy Orr, president of the Helping Hands volunteer board. “Our event brings our community together for fun and fellowship, but ultimately, to help our neighbors.”

This year’s event will look different. Participants will still select a handcrafted bowl with a $25 donation but due to the pandemic, they will be given pre-packaged soup in a to-go container.

Helping Hands, located in Dripping Springs, provided more than 230,000 pounds of food for families in 2020. With about $60,000 in annual donations, the Empty Bowls event provides more than half of the annual operating budget for Helping Hands, which is approximately $120,000.

“We also provided $70,000 in financial aid [last year],” said June Baumoel, co-chair of the Dripping Springs Empty Bowls Project. “The financial aid is intended to help people get back on their feet. You can imagine during COVID, we have had a lot of people who lost their homes, need money for rent and utilities. That number has risen greatly in the last 18 months.”

As a volunteer for the last five years, Orr has witnessed how Helping Hands has served as a lifeline for many in the Dripping Springs community. 

“I have seen the expression of relief and happiness when families receive school supplies at the beginning of a school year,” Orr said. “The contentment each week of receiving groceries that will help tide their families needs for the days to come. … The list goes on. All of these are made possible by our incredibly giving community throughout the year and our main fundraiser, Empty Bowls Project.”

From 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 7, locals are invited to the Dripping Springs Ranch Park and Event Center to enjoy their meal in an open-air room and listen to live music. 

For more information about the Empty Bowls event, please visit https://www.drippingspringsemptybowls.org/. 

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About Author

Megan Wehring graduated from Texas State University in May 2020 with a bachelor's degree in journalism and mass communication. Wehring has reported for the Hays Free Press/News-Dispatch for a year, covering all things local. This includes city council meetings, town events, education and human interest stories. Previously, Wehring worked at KTSW FM-89.9 (Texas State University's official radio station) for two consecutive years. She was a news reporter, assistant news director and monthly segment producer during her time at KTSW. Wehring is passionate about the local reporter aspect. With a heart for storytelling, she believes that journalists are equipped to share the stories that are most important to the community.

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