News from the Mission

Empty Bowls 2023 Recap

Oct 21, 2023 | News

On October 10, 2023, more than 300 supporters from around the Central Valley gathered at the 14th Annual Empty Bowls event, a fundraiser held for Visalia Rescue Mission. Held at the gorgeous Gardens venue In Tulare, the guests enjoyed an evening full of food, entertainment and both a live and silent auction.

Empty Bowls is a national event held by many local organizations around the country to highlight the every growing homeless crisis and the organizations helping to feed the hungry in their neighborhoods. Visalia Rescue Mission has worked tirelessly for the past 42 years to feed the hungry, house the homeless and provide services to help those with addiction issues. It’s important to note that at least 65% of the homeless in Tulare County also struggle with substance abuse. This is why VRM has shifted their focus over the last several years to their programs like the Life Change Recovery Program.


The Life Change Recovery Program was highlighted at Empty Bowls. Here is the video we shared with attendees:

As you can see, the program is making huge strides in changing people’s lives in our own backyard. CEO, Michael Simmon, shared how each program and service provided at Visalia Rescue Mission is centered around the truth that Jesus Christ alone is the very reason life change happens. Without this Truth, change can only be in our own power. Visalia Rescue Mission teams up with countless county service providers, churches, and generous businesses to ensure these programs can continue. One of the things Michael explained is how very costly these services are. Because of the dedication to the Truth, Visalia Rescue Mission takes $0 from government entities. This means VRM must rely on the generosity of the business and individuals in the Central Valley to continue it’s work.


Throughout the evening, attendees were given the opportunity to bid on silent auction items, live auction items and donate directly to VRM. Because of our generous sponsors, attendees, and partners, VRM was able to raise more than $80,000 this year. Our goal before the end of the year is $250,000. If you’d like to partner with VRM, consider a donation today.

Thank you to our sponsors!

Enjoy a taste of the evening through these pictures and video.

And consider attending the event in 2024!

Vendors & Partners:

Catering: Jacks Git & Go
Soup: The Vintage Press
Flowers: Emerald Grace Floral Design
Photography: Lifestyle
Recap Video: Aaron Albright
Photo Booth: Nu Clear Vision Media
Event Planning: Bouma Design Co.