Just Another Day in Paradise

Faye's_Captured_Moments_-101

Faye Chapman, Chair World Hunger Bowl; John Meisse, Mozambique; Kathy Burnham, Founder/Executive Director Collaborative Courts Foundation. Photo credit: Faye’s Captured Moments.

Sometimes Orange County, California gets a bad rap for being all about beautiful people who care only about other, People-magazine-like “beautiful” people. Not so in Laguna Beach. Within the city’s paradisical, ultra-beachy vibe and world-renowned arts scene, beats the heart of a rebel with a true cause.

For the fifth straight year, activist Faye Chapman will lead the fight against hunger and homelessness through an all-volunteer event known as World Hunger Bowl on Wednesday, November 6, 2013. The City of Laguna Beach traditionally proclaims the first week in November as National Hunger and Homelessness Awareness week.

World Hunger Bowl raises consciousness and funding through a silent auction of unique, hand-crafted bowls. These “hunger bowls” are created by artists primarily from Laguna Beach, but also from environs as far-flung as the Midwest and across the pond In Great Britain.

Wondering what a hunger bowl looks like? Here’s an example:

Design by Greg Packard, Laguna Beach, 2011

Design by Greg Packard, Laguna Beach, 2011

See photos of more bowls from earlier years HERE.

Who is Faye?

With her long blonde hair, blue eyes and smiling countenance, Chapman looks like someone who could easily be hosting a garden club tea, instead of rustling up donations of soap, deodorant, toothbrushes and socks, or meeting with homeless people clustered around picnic tables in Heisler Park about their concerns. She originally hails from a small farm in Tennessee and was once briefly homeless herself.

A professional photographer, Chapman described the moment that changed her life and inspired her book, Faces of the Shadows, Life on the StreetsThe project began in Venice Beach, when a homeless woman came into her viewfinder.

“I couldn’t help but wonder: Doesn’t someone —anyone— care about her?” Chapman said.

Interesting symbiosis here, as some cultures believe a photo can steal your soul. In Chapman’s case, the photo had a positive, exponential effect. This year’s Hunger Bowl theme is about “Changing Souls”.

The Collaborative Courts Connection

For 2013, the World Hunger Bowl benefit organization is the Collaborative Courts Foundation (CCF), a group of 19 courts that operate alongside the traditional court system to provide non-violent offenders with a rehabilitation program instead of incarceration.

The foundation’s homeless-outreach clients receive basic services such as emergency medical and dental care, interim housing, job training and transportation.

Eighty percent of the men, women and youth who receive CCF support stay out of the legal system, and return as productive members of the Orange County community. In contrast, California’s  recidivism rate averages over 67%, with more than two-thirds of offenders unable to successfully reintegrate into society.

How We Can Help

With World Hunger Bowl less than three months away, Chapman has secured sponsorships in Laguna Beach for venue: the Mozambique; food: Remarks, K’ya, Sundried Tomato, Big Fish and Ice Cold Beer, and Sapphire as well as live entertainment: The Jamie Browning Band.

August, September and October hold great opportunity for compassionate artists around the globe to take part in World Hunger Bowl. All artisan bowls will be exhibited at The Laguna Gallery of Contemporary Art during October and featured online at the World Hunger Bowl website as they are received.

I’ll also profile any WordPress artist/blogger/follower/friend/family member who donates a hunger bowl with a special post on my blog. There are 65 million WordPress sites, so I know you’re out there–potters, painters, sculptors, glass blowers . . . : )

But, don’t worry if you’re like me and not artistically inclined in a multi-media kind of way. You can still help by bidding generously for a Hunger Bowl online.

To donate a bowl, volunteer, or purchase tickets visit:

World Hunger Bowl

Learn more about Faye Chapman and her work:

Faces of the Shadows, Life on the Street

Faye’s Captured Moments

In closing, a video by Phil Collins that inspired the title for this post. I saw him perform “Another Day in Paradise” in Chicago, as part of his 1989 “But Seriously” tour. The song more moving than anything than I could write, about the escalating plight of the homeless:

Be the change you wish to see in the world.–Mohandas Ghandi

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