Brotherly Love: Empty Bowl Benefit Dinner

By Ukee Washington

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The Empty Bowl Benefit Dinner started 20 years ago. It was small, fewer than a couple dozen people.

Now, times have changed. Hundreds of people were in line Monday night inside Arcadia University’s Grey Towers Castle, waiting to attend.

Ticketholders, just a few dozen at a time, got two minutes to select from a rainbow of handmade bowls.

“It’s a ‘Hunny’ Winnie the Pooh bowl, which makes me so happy!” said one woman.

Another woman said of her small blue bowl, “I thought it was beautiful. It was one of the first things I saw when I came in and it sort of called to me.”

Some bowls were by professionals, others by high school and college students.

Then it was off to fill the bowls with soups from the buffet before settling in to a sit-down dinner.

“You get to keep your bowl at the end of the night,” said Alex Mykijewycz, an Arcadia University senior and the coordinator of this year’s Empty Bowl Benefit Dinner. “It serves as a reminder that somewhere in the world and in our own community, people go without food and shelter.”

In 2013, half the money goes to typhoon aid.

Stephanie Oddi, a junior who helped plan the event, said, “It definitely gives everyone a chance to help out.”

“I’m really, really grateful for what I have,” said Brooke Hiban, “and to be able to give twelve dollars of my money to a really good cause.”

So far, the Empty Bowl Benefit Dinner has raised more than $110,000.

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