Just over three years ago Hurricane Katrina hit and organizations all over the world contributed their time and money to help. UNC's Clay Club did their own part and started the first annual throw-a-thon. Professional and student potters from the whole Greeley community joined together one weekend to throw as many pots as we could. After finishing them over the next week or two we held a sale in the University Center and donated all proceeds to the hurricane relief fund. It was the most successful throw-a-thon yet. There was an immediate need for help and both potters and consumers alike realized this - we had a lot of help making and a lot of people buying pots. The following two years there were no catastrophes, yet we wanted to make the throw-a-thon an annual event. Of course when there was no immediate need for help there was less excitement and involvement. We donated to Habitat for Humanity the 2nd year, and to ourselves this year (to help six students go to NCECA).
I was informed of the Empty Bowls project when I went to my first NCECA in Louisville, KY, and I was just reminded of it reading through Emily Murphy's blog. I think it'd be a fun way to get more involvement with the community in the next throw-a-thon event. We could throw all the bowls in one weekend, give them to other students in the community to decorate, and instead of selling the bowls themselves, we'd host a dinner. Honestly, would the general community be more interested in feeding the hungry, or helping six students go on vacation?