2014 Empty Bowls Diner & Silent Auction Presented by First Bank of Virginia

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Beans and Rice, Inc. — a non-profit organization based in Pulaski and Radford which serves low-to-moderate income families — will host its annual fundraiser, Empty Bowls. This year’s event, presented by First Bank of Virginia, is focused specifically on the issue of Childhood hunger. It will take place on Friday, April 11th at the New River Valley Fraternal Order of Police Lodge in Radford. An open house for bowl browsing and silent auction bidding begins at 5pm. Dinner – sponsored by Jo Alderman of Giesen-Caldwell, CGJC Enterprises, Bob & Debbie Piscura, and Greg & Fran Rooker - will be served at 6 pm. Tickets are available at www.beansandrice.org or at the door for $20 and entitle guests to one free handcrafted bowl.

Bid on these great items and more at the 2014 Empty Bowls Dinner and Silent Auction

Bid on these great items and more at the 2014 Empty Bowls Dinner and Silent Auction

This is the 15th consecutive year Beans and Rice, Inc. has conducted the fundraiser in efforts to combat hunger in and around the City of Radford. Last year’s event raised $4,700. The majority of bowls are ceramic and crafted by Radford University Art Professor Drew Dodson and his students. This year’s event features the addition of a limited number of handmade glass and wooden bowls.

Empty Bowls is an international grassroots effort to fight hunger. The basic premise is simple: Potters and other craftspeople donate materials and time to create handcrafted bowls. Guests are invited to share a simple meal and learn about hunger issues. In exchange for a cash donation, guests are asked to keep a bowl as a reminder that there are always empty bowls in the world.

According to Share Our Strength’s national Non Kid Hungry campaign, childhood hunger is an epidemic affecting 16 million US children, or 1 in 5 kids. Currently, 22% of US children under 18 live in poverty. In Radford both elementary schools have free/reduced priced lunch rates above 40%, up from 23% in 2002. Recent research from the Harvard School Breakfast Research Summary demonstrates that “lack of enough healthy food can impair a child’s ability to concentrate and perform well in school.”

All event proceeds support local children enrolled in Beans and Rice, Inc. afterschool programs at Bell Heth and McHarg Elementary schools. Backpacks are sent home each weekend from mid-September through the end of May to approximately 120 City of Radford Public School students. Backpacks are filled with self-stable food and fresh fruit adequate for 2 breakfasts, 2 lunches, and 2 snacks per weekend. Proceeds also benefit Beans and Rice’s a weekly food distribution of perishable grocery items donated by Wal-Mart. The program occurs weekly throughout the year at two low-income housing complexes.

Local citizens and businesses can help combat food insecurity by:
- Attending the event and bringing friends and family.
- Donating merchandise or services (gift certificates) for the silent auction,
- Making a contribution of $25 or more to the Empty Bowls project.

Visit http://blog.beansandrice.org to learn more and see a complete list of silent auction items including handmade wooden bowls and select furniture as well as services and merchandise from local merchants.

WHO: Working-age adults, children, retired seniors, college students, community volunteers, elected public officials, AmeriCorps members, Beans and Rice staff, local civic organizations
WHAT: 2014 Beans and Rice Empty Bowls Dinner and Silent Auction
WHEN: Friday, April 11, 2013, 5 pm Open House, 6 pm Dinner
WHERE: Fraternal Order of Police Lodge (University Boulevard near Radford University Dedmon Center), Radford, VA.

Chipotle and Buffalo Wild Wings unite with Beans and Rice, Inc. U Serv AmeriCorps Members to Commemorate September 11th

Chipotle and Buffalo Wild Wings are helping Beans and Rice, Inc.’s U Serv AmeriCorps members mark the 12th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks for the September 11th National Day of Service and Remembrance. Local residents can help raise funds for a weekend backpack program serving 120 low-income children, joining hundreds of thousands of Americans across the country help others through service and charitable giving.

On Tuesday September 10th, from 3:00 to 8:00 pm Chipotle will make dinner a selfless act. Local residents and students can “Eat For Change” at the Virginia Tech Chipotle on Main Street and College Avenue. Simply present the attached flyer or show it on your smart phone and a portion of the proceeds will be donated to weekend backpacks for low-income children.

All day Wednesday, Sept. 11th, Buffalo Wild Wings gives those interested in commemorating 9/11 a chance to “Eat Wings, Raise Funds.” Patrons can designate a portion of their pre-taxed meal purchases by simply presenting the attached fundraising ticket.

“September 11th is a day of history, emotion, and reflection,” said Michael O’Brien, U Serv AmeriCorps member with Beans and Rice, Inc. “For many Americans it is also a day of service and giving that provides an opportunity to join neighbors and local leaders to rekindle the compassion and unity shown on that day.”

September 11th was designated a national day of service by the 2009 Kennedy Serve America Act. The Corporation for National and Community Service leads the annual event, working with MyGoodDeed and hundreds of nonprofit groups, faith-based organizations, and schools and businesses nationwide.

This year’s projects will enlist volunteers in delivering meals, refurbishing schools and community centers, collecting food and clothing, signing up as mentors, reading to children, and more. 

Beans and Rice, Inc. is a community development organization that improves the economic well being of low-moderate-income families and children through hunger relief, after school programs for at-risk children, micro-business development that create jobs, and savings programs that help families buy their first home and children save for education.

The Corporation for National and Community Service is a federal agency that engages more than five million Americans in service each year through Senior Corps, AmeriCorps, and other programs; improves communities through the Social Innovation Fund; and leads President Obama’s national call to service initiative, United We Serve. For more information, visit nationalservice.gov.

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Help Beans and Rice, Inc. Grow Capacities and Build Assets

Dear Valued Friend of Beans and Rice, Inc.,

On behalf of our beneficiaries, volunteers, staff, and board members thank you for your support. Now more than ever Beans and Rice, Inc. needs your help. Due to sequestration and state funding guideline changes, the resources our work depends upon are shrinking. Please help us continue improving the economic well-being of low-to-moderate income families and children by:

  • Providing hunger relief for local families and children – the estimated value of donated grocery items distributed in 2012 was $54,000 and 100 local children received weekend snacks and meals.
  • Providing a safe and structured afterschool enrichment environment – nearly 70% of classroom teachers reported regularly attending elementary students observed improved academic performance
  • Helping local families realize the American Dream through first-time homeownership and small business job creation– our asset building efforts have helped create 22 full-time equivalent jobs.

As you consider making a $50, $100, $500, or $1,000 gift or a $50 monthly pledge, I want to share an inspiring story that embodies our core principles of self-reliance and service to others.

Randy is a disabled veteran who for the last several years has benefited from Beans and Rice, Inc.’s local food distribution efforts. Even with the physical limitations that cause him to use a cane, every Monday Randy waits in line for an hour or longer. He shops for donated produce, baked goods, and meat at its shelf life’s end. Randy, however, is not just a recipient. He also serves his neighbors. Randy has worked shoulder to shoulder with our volunteers and staff to unload boxes, set up tables, and sort donated items into selection boxes. Randy is recognized for his positive, friendly demeanor and helpful attitude.

Several weeks ago Randy came to me and said he’d soon be leaving the area. He told me how much he appreciated the assistance we provided and wanted to make a gift before he moved. During Randy’s last food distribution visit he pulled me aside and said he had something to give. He handed me a $50 cash donation. For a disabled veteran on a fixed income this was an extremely significant gift. I was humbled.

Please follow Randy’s lead. Make a tax-deductible gift to Beans and Rice, Inc. that is significant for you. Use the enclosed card and envelope or visit www.beansandrice.org. Thank you for your valued support.

Click the link to print the full letter and contribute to Beans and Rice, Inc.’s work.
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