Empty Bowls Festival has more youth volunteers than ever before

    Being a young adult or teenager is filled with milestones and learning experiences - getting a drivers license, realizing how tedious college applications, securing that first after school job. Being a teenager also often comes with a stereotype of being selfish, fueled by teen angst and hormones. A certain group of local youths are breaking the mold of the stereotype and simultaneously gaining an experience that carries an important learning message - to give back to their community.
    Empty Bowls is the local good deed and fundraiser that many Leavenworth teens and tweens have been participating in. According to Linda Claeson, this is the most youths that have been working with the project yet.
    ""(I think the kids take from this learning experience) just the value of giving back to the community," said Claeson. "I think there'a a lot of value for them in volunteering for that sense of community, that they're participating and giving back to a community that gives to them."
    Several different entities with young members have been participating in the local good deed - Empty Bowls, which in turn provides some funds for the Community Cupboard. Leos, Cascade Interact Club, community service members and Cascade High School art students have all participated among other kids.
    "If they were students who painted bowls with the families in the past, now they're looking at it from the other side of volunteering to help others paint their bowls," said Claeson.
    Some of the bowls that will be up for raffle at the Soup Supper and the Gala will be the painted product of the high school's art students.
    "It really gives them a sense of ownership in their community," said Claeson. "They're not just along for the ride, they're participating - and you know participating in a way that they haven't in the past."

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