With less than a week to go until Cups for Caritas on Sunday, January 18, we wanted to take some time to answer some frequently asked questions about the event. You can also read more at The Friar’s Lantern.

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Why are you making cups instead of bowls?

This year would have marked the 10th consecutive year of Malvern Prep hosting an Empty Bowls event. Many families have been going to the same event for nine years before this one and have a lot of bowls. The change in pace keeps the event fresh for veteran attendees.

Plus—all of our students and alumni know: There’s something special about handmade cups.

This major change was the result of a design process enacted by students enrolled in Art and Advocacy during the first few weeks of the class. The five students enrolled in this course spent the fall semester researching, iterating, problem-solving, learning from experts, reflecting, and, of course, making cups.

What does my ticket cost include?

Your ticket cost includes selection of one handmade ceramic cup out of over 700 on display, a breakfast, and a morning of celebration and fellowship. You may choose to bid on items in our silent auction or to purchase additional cups. After most guests have arrived, we will re-open the cup display so you can choose more cups to purchase.

How does the event run? How long does the event last?

This year there will be a Mass in Malvern Prep’s chapel at 9 AM and go until 10:30 AM. Students and representatives from Bethesda Project will speak at the Mass. After this optional Mass, the event will begin in Stewart Hall and run throughout the morning and early afternoon. We expect to close the brunch event and Silent Auction by 12:30—after all, there’s an Eagles playoff game later in the afternoon!  

Note: If the Mass ends before 10:30, we will ask Mass attendees to remain in the chapel until we open the doors to Stewart Hall at 10:30.

Why do you prefer advance ticket sales?

We want to make sure we have enough food – not too much and not too little!  We also want to make sure we have seating and cups for every guest. Advance sales help us to plan. Advance ticket sales will close on Friday, January 12 at the end of the day.

Why are the advance ticket sales more expensive than the posted price?

We want to make the full donation of our ticket cost – $25/adult, $15/child 10+under – to Bethesda Project. (Faculty and staff from Malvern Prep and Villa Maria Academy may also purchase tickets at the $15 price.) There is a credit card processing fee for each ticket, so we built that into the prices you see on the online sales page.

Again, the value of purchasing a ticket in advance is that it helps us to plan for quantities of food and services. We don’t like to waste!

How many people worked on making the cups?

Each cup has had a different person work on it in part of the cup-making process. Someone from Malvern could have thrown the cup, someone from Villa could have trimmed it and an alumnus could have glazed it. There are too many people to count in the making of just one cup, but we know that this project involved the efforts of over two hundred students and many of our faculty, staff, families, and friends.

Do you give cups to the homeless?

We usually deliver a stack of pottery to Bethesda Project after the event for use in their programs. But we recognize that Bethesda Project is able to make more efficient use of our financial donation.

Why breakfast instead of dinner?

This is another change of pace from past years. It makes a lot more sense to have a breakfast themed event with cups because cups can be used for coffee, tea, and hot chocolate.  Having a breakfast style event also allows us to have a Sunday morning Mass beforehand.  

Is my cup safe to use?

Yes – the cups are microwave + dishwasher safe. The only reason we do not serve the beverages in the cups at the event is because our volunteers have handled these pieces extensively during setup. You’re welcome to drink out of your cup—we just suggest a rinse first. After a good washing, your cup should be good for 6,000 years of use!

Can I make a donation to the event if I cannot attend?

Yes – buy tickets! All proceeds from purchased tickets – whether or not you attend – will be used for our donation to Bethesda Project. There is also an option on the ticket order form to make an additional donation.

[Slow clap] Way to come up with such a good idea, Malvern/Villa….

We know, thanks.

But seriously, Cups for Caritas is a novel idea that stems from our roots of holding Empty Bowls events—and Empty Bowls was not our original idea.

The idea for Empty Bowls  was developed in 1991 by Michigan art teacher John Hartom and his wife Lisa. Their Empty Bowls was planned as a one-time event – but the idea took off.  The Imagine/RENDER Group, a 501(c)3 organization, was created to promote the project. In order to lend the name Empty Bowls to these events, the full proceeds must be donated to an organization that helps to fight hunger.

Empty Bowls is celebrating its 27th year in 2017-2018!  Here’s a great video on roots of the Empty Bowls project: Empty Bowls from Weldon Byrns on Vimeo.

What if there’s winter weather?

We take the lead of Malvern’s administration and facilities staff in the event of weather that would necessitate closing campus.

Pray that this doesn’t happen. We currently do not have a snow date—but we do have a great team of student problem solvers if Mother Nature lets us down. 

Any closings will be announced via our social media feeds on Facebook + Instagram, and via Malvern Prep’s social media and campus alerts.

Any other questions?  Let us know!