“First and foremost, I’m a farmer,” Elly says emphatically. “As someone who thinks about nourishing and growing living things every day, childhood hunger drives me crazy — how are kids supposed to grow up and learn well if they aren’t being fed properly?”
Elly is also a talented potter and the host of Vancouver’s annual Empty Bowls fundraiser - happening this year on Wednesday, November 28th.
“Empty Bowls is a fundraiser that’s happened around the world since 1990,” she explains. “It started in Michigan as a way for the pottery and arts community to support initiatives fighting hunger in our communities - and it has spread far and wide.”
The event is simple: artists donate bowls to be used in a soup and salad long table dinner in their community. Ticket proceeds and potter sales go directly to a local charity that feeds those in need.
Elly stumbled across Empty Bowls three years ago when a potter she followed on Instagram was hosting an Empty Bowls fundraiser in Oklahoma. Elly sent some of her own pottery to be used in the event.
“The potter encouraged me to look for an Empty Bowls event closer to home - when there wasn’t one, I felt compelled to start one myself.”
Four years later, Elly’s event is one of the highlights of the Backpack Buddy social calendar. With over $10,000 raised to date and over 800 bowls contributed, Elly has been a true champion for Backpack Buddies - raising both funding and awareness within our local community.
“When I started Empty Bowls in Vancouver, I chose Backpack Buddies as the beneficiary because I couldn’t think of a better community to support than children in need that need to eat so they can learn.” - Elly, Founder of Empty Bowls Vancouver