Empty Bowls event brings potters, chefs together to help the homeless

DURHAM, N.C. (WTVD) -- Chefs from all over the Bull City will go head to head Thursday in a cook-off.

They'll all be vying for the title of "Best Soup" in Durham, but the annual Empty Bowls event is about much more than soup. Empty Bowls brings potters, chefs and many others together to raise money to help the Urban Ministries of Durham serve the homeless.

It's an event that Becca Hulett, a local potter at the Durham Arts Council studio, looks forward to every year. "I started as a student and now I'm an instructor, and I love participating in Empty Bowls," Hulett said.

Hulett's beautiful bowls and the works of many other local potters are sold to raise money for Urban Ministries of Durham as part of the Empty Bowls benefit. It's the biggest fundraiser to support the homeless shelter's programs.

"There's going to be a safe place for someone to come out of the elements or to be able to get their life back on track," said Sheldon Mitchell, Executive Director of Urban Ministries of Durham.

Over the years, Becca has donated about 500 bowls to the cause. She sees this as an opportunity to give back. She's making a difference by simply doing what she loves.

Through her creative work and the efforts of so many other potters and chefs, those in need in the community will be able to seek shelter and warm meals.

"Everybody in our studio has an opportunity to donate to this event, and it's year round. We take the donations year round," Hulett said.

Those donations help to give those who may be struggling a second chance, according to Shelton Mitchell. "We not just only just focus on the food and the shelter, but really trying to reconnect people to a positive life."
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