Artists in Action Sell Ornaments to Raise Money for Senior Programs

By Debby Teich

If you are looking for the perfect gift, you can find it at the Carl Shechter Southwest Focal Point Community Center and help a great cause at the same time. This month, the Center’s Artists in Action are selling holiday ornaments to raise money for senior programs. From November 6 to January 5, the ornaments are on sale at the Activities Desk during the Center’s normal hours of operation.
The Artists in Action group includes students from the Community Center’s day and evening Pottery Studio program. They donate their time, talent and supplies to help those in need.

“Art can make a difference,” said Helen Daniels, Recreation Division Supervisor for the Carl Shechter SWFP Community Center. “The Artists in Action group at the SWFP has learned that they can use their artistic talents to help others in need. They are making a difference in their community and in the world. To enrich the lives of others and be enriched…who could ask for anything more?”
Every year, at the Craft Show held in September, the Artists in Action sell their pottery to help fill the “empty bowls” of the hungry. All of the proceeds from the Empty Bowls Pottery sale benefit the Community Center’s annual Thanksgiving Basket Food Drive for needy families in the community. Through the years, they group has donated hundreds of items that have raised thousands of dollars to benefit the annual Thanksgiving food drive.

“I have always taught my students that the greatest thing they can do in life is to do something for someone else,” said Leroy Daniels, who instructs the pottery class. “The Empty Bowls pottery sale is a perfect illustration of this fundamental belief.”

This year, the Artists in Action added a handcrafted ornaments sale to benefit senior programs at the Center. The original pieces are made using a hand-building method. After the clay is rolled out, the shapes are cut, decorated by hand, and glazed. There are a wide variety of unique pieces with holes, so they are easy to hang. There is an $8 donation per ornament.

This is not the first time that the Artists in Action have added an extra fundraiser. In 2005, students made and sold “Blooms of Hope,” which were flower-shaped, stoneware lapel pins for Hurricane Katrina victims. In 2008, they held the first holiday ornaments sale to benefit Senior programs.

The Center’s pottery classes are held throughout the year in six-week sessions for adults, 18 and older. In the class, students use hand-building and pottery wheels to create functional and non-functional high-fired stoneware pottery. Classes are offered on Wednesdays, from 9:30am – 11:30am or 7pm – 9pm. The cost is $42 per person and does not include materials.

The Carl Shechter SWFP Community Center offers adults 18 and older an opportunity to meet new people, build a support network or gather information. It is located at 301 NW 103rd Avenue in Pembroke Pines. It is open Monday and Friday, from 8am to 5pm, and Tuesday/Wednesday/Thursday, from 8am to 9pm. For information, contact Helen Daniels at 954-450-6888 or by email at or visit