SAN ANTONIO -- Sunday rains held off for hundreds of people who stood in line outside the Southwest School of Art, ready to pick their favorite handmade bowls for a good cause.

SAMMinistries, along with the San Antonio Potters Guild and the San Antonio Glass Art Guild, hosted the 17th Annual Empty Bowls event.

All proceeds go to SAMMinistries, aiming to prevent homelessness in the Alamo City.

"We spend many hours creating bowls out of ceramic or glass...Last year, we sold over 1,600 bowls," said Melba Martinez, Chair of Empty Bowls and the Vice President of Membership for the San Antonio Potters Guild.

At least 2,000 handcrafted bowls were up for grabs this year, each costing $20.

"This is recycled glass, and this is the first year they've had glass. I walked up, and it just said, "Hello! Come take me!'" said Suzanne Reily, who has attended Empty Bowls in San Antonio for eight years.

For each bowl, you get a ticket. Each ticket is good for one cup of homemade soup and bread from local restaurants, hotels, and caterers.

SAMMinistries' Transitional Program houses families for up to two years and focuses on education and job training to better prepare graduates to enter the workforce.

"Since we started that program in the year 2000, 700 families have graduated to self-sufficiency," said Navarra Williams, the President & CEO of SAMMinistries.

Since the launch of their Homeless Prevention Program in 2008, 22,000 people have been allowed to stay in their homes, including 14,000 children.

"Taking care of a family that's about to be evicted and taking care of their rent or utilities to keep them in their apartment or rental home," Williams said.

In the past 16 years, the Empty Bowls event raised over $470,000 to help keep families off the streets and in their homes.

"It reminds you every day, that yes I did get something, but I also gave something," Reily said.

Other bowls were also put up for auction.

Williams made a "celebrity bowl," along with Mayor Ivy Taylor and KENS 5 Meteorologist, Paul Mireles.

For more information on SAMMinistries, visit