Tuesday night marked the 20th anniversary of Empty Bowls - the biggest fundraiser of the year for the Community Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma.
Last year's event raised enough money to provide 1.5 million meals for hungry families in eastern Oklahoma.
This year they’re asking for help as well.
For Paul Stevenson, being able to stand before a table saw in his workshop is a modern-day miracle; and the fact that he produces objects of incredible beauty is a gift.
“Thought that at best I'd probably be in a nursing home, if I survived, which they didn't think I would,” he said.
Four years ago, Stevenson was totally paralyzed and in excruciating pain after complications from a head-on collision with a drunk driver.
After months of intensive therapy, he began to regain some mobility in his hands.
“I was supposed to play with rubber balls and clothespins,” he said. “And that was just not going to hold my attention.”
So, Stevenson returned to an early love - woodworking.
Using wood from Tulsa's urban forest, he began turning out wooden bowls, hundreds of them, which led him back to another early passion, the food bank.
“I was involved with the Food Bank from the very beginning,” Stevenson said. “It’s one of the great charities of the world.”
This year, Empty Bowls will include 30 wooden bowls made by a man who helped build the food bank itself 35 years ago. Made by a man who's using his second chance at life to do what he has always done, give back to others.
If you'd like to help feed hungry Oklahoma families but can make the fundraiser, you can text HUNGER to 80077 to make a $10 donation.