Foster teens build confidence through crafting ‘Bowls for Good’

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SAFETY HARBOR — St. Petersburg-area non-profit “Bowls for Good” is helping foster teens build themselves up while they create something unique with their own hands: wooden bowls.

The teens at the Florida Sheriff’s Youth Ranch in Safety Harbor were paired with Bowls for Good volunteers Thursday, where they sanded, shaved and stained their own wooden bowls.

Organizers say it’s a moving experience for many of the teens who come from troubled pasts.

“Each kid is gonna make a bowl if they’re old enough,” said “Bowls for Good” founder Bennett Farrell. “If they’re not old enough, we’ve had volunteers make bowls up to a certain point that they can give to the younger brothers and sisters.”

Once the bowls are turned and stained, they’re personalized with each child’s name.

“We connect the community with the kids in an art project, but it’s an art project that’s really meaningful,” said Farrell. “A wooden bowl when you make it yourself and you eat out of it, it’s a very primal thing. So these kids get to do it, even as young as ten.”

After all the hard work, the bowls are put to use, filled with scoops of ice cream.

Farrell hopes the bowls are more than dishes to the kids.

“They have the skills in their hands, they know they can accomplish something pretty special,” said Farrell.

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