Howard Payne University students gathered on the Mabee University Center balcony Tuesday evening to paint bowls for the Good Samaritan Ministries Empty Bowls Project.   

Students and staff from across the campus gathered to paint a bowl for the annual charity initiative. The bowls will now be sent to Good Samaritan to be glazed, and then to Kohler to be fired in a kiln. The glazing process began this week.   

Kaitlyn Harrison is an HPU sophomore who attended the painting party with some of her soccer teammates. Harrison is part of a service organization, Gamma Beta Phi, that told her about the event. “They told us that they’re doing the bowls, and if we want to get extra service points we can come up and make a bowl,” Harrison said. “And also, it’s a lot of fun, too.”    

Harrison’s bowl featured elaborate, swirling Paisley designs, but the painting party featured artists of all skill levels. HPU student activities director Joshua Snow made his bowl a striped green on the outside and a pale pink with black dots on the inside, like a watermelon. Jennings Hall resident director Wes Curton opted for a bowl with squares of alternating yellow, green and blue.   

Keith Platte, HPU’s director of Baptist Student Ministry, helped organize the painting party this year. Platte said he helps coordinate volunteers every year for the Empty Bowls Project. “We’ll have about 40 students out there” volunteering on the event day, he said.    

“It’s really cool,” Platte said, “because a lot of the community comes together to help Good Samaritan, which in turns helps the community.   

“It’s a longstanding event that not only [the Baptist Student Ministry] but also Howard Payne in general want to keep promoting and helping,” he said.   

The eighth annual Empty Bowls Project will be held on Thursday, March 30 at the Brownwood Coliseum. The bowls from HPU’s painting party, and hundreds more like them, will be available for purchase for $10, and attendees will dine on a simple meal of soup.