Empty Bowl Project is annual fundraiser for SFRF
For more than two decades, Salado Family Relief Fund has made the Christmas holidays better each year for 50 local families, distributing gifts to 150 local children.
The Salado Family Relief Fund tries to make it better for more than 50 Salado families each year by providing Christmas presents to their children. Salado Family Relief will again be managing the Christmas Project, whereby qualified families will be presented with toys and gifts for Christmas.
“We cannot do this without the generosity of our community,” said Renee Oas, president of the Salado Family Relief Fund.
Civic groups, church groups and school groups are encouraged to adopt a family or a child during the Christmas drive. If you would like to “adopt” a child or family for Christmas, email Oas at firstname.lastname@example.org or call her at 947-9471 for details. Contributions can be mailed to: Salado Family Relief Fund, P.O. Box 461, Salado, TX 76571.
The SFRF protects the identity of the children receiving the gifts. No groups or individuals will know the names of the children they have agreed to adopt.
The Christmas drive, and other efforts of the Salado Family Relief Fund, benefits from the annual Salado Empty Bowl Project, which will be 11 a.m.-1:30 p.m. Nov. 10 at the Salado Intermediate School cafeteria.
For just $25, you can purchase a handmade bowl by area potters, fill it with soup provided by area restaurants and help support the Salado Family Relief Fund. You can have all-you-can-eat soup for just $10 per person.
Soup will be provided by local restaurants and bed and breakfast inns: Ambrosia Tea Room, Baines House, The Barton House, Cathy’s Boardwalk Café, The Inn at Salado Bed & Breakfast, Inn on the Creek, Lively Coffee House & Bistro, McCain’s Bakery & Cafe, The Pizza Place, Ramble Restaurant & Farmhouse Grill, The Shed, Stagecoach Inn, Stonecreek Settlement Bed & Breakfast and Sylvia’s Tacos.
Local potter Titia Califano, of Mud Pies Pottery, works with potters from around the state to provide the handmade pottery bowls for the event.
The Empty Bowl Project comes at a great time for the Salado Family Relief Fund, according to Oas. It helps replenish funds used for the annual back-to-school drive to provide school clothes and supplies to 150 Salado ISD students.
None of these projects would be possible without the support of local churches, civic groups, school groups and individuals who give of their time and money each year.
The annual Christmas drive began in the mid 90s. “I heard of a couple of school teachers and volunteers who were gathering things for kids in the schools. Dana Britt and the late Mary Ribeiro were doing this on their own for a long time without much help,” founding president Marilyn Fleischer said of the beginnings of the Family Relief Fund.
The first year that the Fund began to take shape, collections of used toys and clothes were gathered at the fire station. “It was discouraging sifting for hours through used toys that were broken or should have been thrown away,” Fleischer said.
The Fund continued its work at Christmas, but changed gears when the tornado ripped through Jarrell, causing such devastation to that small community. “We solicited and took donations for relief efforts in Jarrell, which was when we changed the name of the group to Salado Family Relief Fund,” Fleischer said. “We collected more than $12,000 for those victims.”
At that point, Fleischer said she realized it was time to organize the group formally. “We invited all of the churches and civic groups in Salado to join us in forming this organization,” she said.
Since forming in 1996, the Fund has helped families in the area in a variety of ways, including temporary assistance for medicines, rent, clothing, food and other necessities.