Journal Title George Fox Journal Online

The art of love

Empty Bowls Project

Amanda Potter knew she had to do something in the aftermath of December’s tsunami.

That desire to put Christian faith into action sparked the Empty Bowls Project, a remarkable community event that used art to raise more than $11,000 to help tsunami survivors in India.

Students and faculty in the art department labored day and night for several weeks creating more than 1,000 ceramic bowls. Most were sold at the April 1 dinner. About 450 attendees made donations for the bowl of their choice, dinner, and entertainment.

Empty Bowls

Fired up: A portion of the 1,000 ceramic bowls dry before going through the glazing and firing stage. Students and faculty worked a marathon 12-hour shift to create the pieces for the Empty Bowls Project

All proceeds went to Village Outreach International, a Portlandbased nonprofit. The all-volunteer organization has supported local relief work among the poorest people in southern India for 20 years.

A social work major and international studies minor from Clinton, Wash., Potter traveled to southeastern India in March. She observed how relief aid was distributed, and evaluated the benefits of using local citizens for disaster relief for her international senior seminar class.

“I stood on the beach on the threemonth anniversary of the tsunami,” she said. “It was so calm, peaceful, and beautiful. Yet I couldn't help thinking, ‘If I had been here three months ago, what would have been my lot?’ Just seeing the people living on so little … it was an emotional and powerful experience.”

To read Potter’s trip journal, go to

Meeting the Need

Several George Fox friends assisted in relief efforts in Sri Lanka following the devastating Dec. 26 Indonesian earthquake and tsunami.

Img of Ron Hays

Ron Hays (G74, right), a paramedic living in Silverton, Ore., joined a Northwest Medical Teams group that provided medical care to victims. The team, which hand-carried medicines and supplies, worked in partnership with World Concern. Hays became emergency medical services coordinator for Northwest Medical Teams Sept. 11, 2001.

Jon Rubesh (G97), a Newberg resident in real estate sales, has direct ties with Sri Lanka. A worship leader with Sherwood Presbyterian Church, he grew up on the tropical island as the son of missionaries. He returned to use his knowledge of the language, country, and people to help with organizational coordination and other issues. One of Rubesh’s tasks was to assess various needs of area residents, sharing that information on a Web site —

Graham Barker, head of the Wesley Institute Graduate School of Counselling in Sydney, Australia, led trauma-response training workshops at venues organized by Youth for Christ, Sri Lanka. More than 530 people attended the workshops. Barker, an ordained Baptist minister, is an ’86 graduate of the Psy.D. program before George Fox acquired it from Western Semina.


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