2018 Empty Bowls Committee Volunteer Opportunities

2018 Empty Bowls Committee Volunteer Opportunities

YOU Can Be The Difference!

The original Empty Bowls is a grass roots community event started in the 1990’s in Michigan by two teachers. Since then, that event has spread to communities nation-wide. Several years ago, two intrepid volunteers took up the charge and started Empty Bowls in the Robbinsdale School District to support PRISM and NEAR food shelves, both of which serve families who live within the district. We’ve been very successful in raising much needed funds for the food shelves, $19,000 in 2017, but the need keeps growing and you can help!

Sign up for a Shift

Maybe you’d like to help with set-up, check-in, kitchen prep or serving, entertainment or clean-up. Click here to sign up for one of these jobs.

Share your skills with us

Running an event of this size takes all the skills in our community. Can you make bowls or organize bowl collection, help with fundraising, managing the kitchen, marketing or advertising? Check out these jobs and contact Mindy Potvin, mindy_potvin@rdale.org or 763-504-6994 for more information or to sign up.

Handmade Bowls Maven

Are you an art-appreciator? Do you like crafts? You could be our next Handmade Bowls Maven. The Maven helps collect approximately 1000 handmade bowls, keeps track of the inventory and assures that they arrive at the Empty Bowls event on time. Several schools make the bowls for us, some artists donate bowls and the Community Bowl Making events and Bowl classes provide bowls as well. The Maven works with the chairs of the bowl-making events and classes as well as other volunteers who solicit bowls. He/she attends these fun events and may help solicit bowls from other bowl-makers as well. The Maven keeps a spreadsheet of bowls and works with volunteers to pick up and deliver bowls to the event. This is a fun volunteer opportunity that allows the Maven to interact with art teachers, crafters, artisans and other volunteers.

Entertainment Maestro

Let’s fill the halls with music during Empty Bowls and warm the souls. If you enjoy music, you’ll want to volunteer to be our Entertainment Maestro. The Maestro works with staff to recruit choirs and orchestras from the district to entertain us at the Empty Bowls event and contacts other organizations, such as senior singers, to participate as well. But, be creative — don’t stop there. One year we had a clown roaming the room. Another year, we had entertainers serenade us in the front hall as people enter. Most people know someone with musical talent. Let your spirits fly as you contact entertainers, work with staff to assure that the sound system is working, greet the entertainers as they arrive at the event and thank them warmly when they leave.

Sponsorship Shepherd

A good shepherd knows how to find and manage the flock. Our District is filled with businesses and organizations that would jump at the chance to help the community, while benefitting from the extra publicity that we can provide. It’s just a matter of finding and connecting with them and explaining the benefits. Do you have the gift of gab? This volunteer job will be a piece of cake. Help identify businesses, organizations and individuals who might be willing to become a sponsor. Work with other staff and volunteers to create materials and contact the likely sponsors, while keeping track of the results. It’s so rewarding to see the funding increase and hunger decrease, due to your efforts as a shepherd.


What’s your favorite soup? Do you have a favorite bread? As Soupervisor you can make sure that we all have a chance to enjoy your favorites by adding the restaurant or bakery to our list of donors. This volunteer job is a great option for the person who likes both food and order to their lives. The Soupervisor works with other volunteers to request donations, maintain a spreadsheet of the donations and organize pick-ups and deliveries with your team of helpers. Requesting food donations is a very easy ask — we rarely hear “No.” In addition, many restaurants have been making donations for several years and are likely to continue. Your organizational skills will assure that all donations are tracked and delivered on time, helping everyone else enjoy a lovely evening of delicious food.

Advertising Mogul

Do you have a way with words, enjoy social media or write with a flair? You could be our next Advertising Mogul. This volunteer position coordinates our marketing and communications to help get the word out about our activities via our website, facebook site, printed advertising and articles designed for newspapers and other media outlets. The local media is always happy to work with us, staff helps with creation of printed materials and our webmaster helps maintain the website. You will monitor and coordinate the advertising, while using your creativity to write occasional articles and posts. If your skills include web maintenance, we’d be happy to have your help there as well.

Kitchen Bwana

Lots of people know their way around a home kitchen, but if you hanker to help coordinate food for 1000, you’ll love being our Kitchen Bwana. We have a wonderful cook who handles the kitchen basics, but you will be helping the cook with set up, serving and clean-up, and keeping a spreadsheet of volunteers. Your job will be a breeze as we have lots of volunteers who enjoy helping cook and serve the night of the event. We also have a good clean-up crew. We just need a Bwana to work with and oversee the volunteers, and it could be you. This volunteer position is very rewarding as you watch hundreds of adults and children of all ages enjoy the wonderful food donated by local restaurants.

If interested in any of the volunteer opportunities above, please contact Mindy Potvin, mindy_potvin@rdale.org or 763-504-6994.