There were smiles abound and near disbelief when Empty Bowls unveiled Wednesday that they were donating $16,000 to the Daniel Pitino Shelter. Empty Bowls shattered their fundraising record set last year, and officials with the shelter are excited to complete some overdue upgrades at their facility.
The amount had been kept secret until a ceremonial check was presented Wednesday at the shelter.
“This is incredible,” said Dr. Michele Johnston, Executive Director of the Daniel Pitino Shelter. “One of the big things that we’ve needed to do is upgrade our building.”
Johnston said it’s hard to get grant funding for capital improvements, so donations make a big difference.
“This will allow us to replace our electrical boxes inside so we can actually run our washers and dryers without them tripping the breakers,” she said. “It sounds like something really practical and maybe not so exciting, but it’s really exciting for our shelter guests. The less time that they spend doing laundry, the more time they get to spend with their family.”
Empty Bowls set a record last year by raising nearly $11,000, according to Tina Taylor, co-chair of the Empty Bowls committee.
“We had huge community support this year,” she said. “We have a sponsorship program now so that really helps. We also had an anonymous donor that gave a significant amount. Those things all contributed.”
Empty Bowls is a local organization that is dedicated to the national effort of feeding the hungry. The Daniel Pitino Shelter feeds approximately 30,000 people in the greater Owensboro community annually.
“There’s such a need in our community and people probably don’t even fully understand the impact that this has on the community, but every year that we grow we are just able to feed more people,” Taylor said. “That’s our ultimate goal is to help end hunger in the community, but also just bring awareness to the need in our community.”
To get involved with Empty Bowls as a volunteer or to donate, search them on social media or email [email protected]
To get involved with the Pitino Shelter as a volunteer or to donate, visit their website.