With Thanksgiving just weeks away, shopping, feasting and merrymaking are undoubtedly on the minds of many. For those less fortunate, however, the season can be decidedly less festive. The Bowl of Thanks, happening Sunday, Nov. 6, at Ventura Harbor, aims to bring some extra help and holiday cheer to those in need.

This first-ever fundraiser, sponsored by the Ventura County Potters’ Guild (VCPG), the December Store and More and the Ventura Harbor Port District, brings local artists and Harbor Village restaurants together to raise money for Ventura County charities. Purchase a $25 handmade ceramic bowl and, with your dish, you’ll receive a punch card good for food samples from each of 17 participating eateries, including Copa Cubana, Rhumb Line, Coastal Cone and more. “This is our first year,” says VCPG board member and fundraiser co-founder Cecile Gurrola-Faulconer. “We hope it will be an annual event.”

Customers keep the bowls, but food samples will be served in disposable containers to comply with health and safety regulations. Proceeds benefit the Ventura County Rescue Mission, the Lighthouse for Women and Children, and Buddy Nation, a nonprofit helping homeless pets. “One of the reasons we wanted to start this is because not all fundraisers give all the money to charity,” explains Gurrola-Faulconer. “All of the money from Bowl of Thanks goes directly to Buddy Nation and the Rescue Mission.”

Local artists and arts organizations donating bowls (150 will be available) include the Ojai Valley School, Larry Carnes of the Ojai Pottery Studio, Ventura College ceramics instructor Jenchi Wu and her students, the Ojai Pottery and Clay School, Ellen Wohlstadter and other members and friends of the VCPG. The organizers have been overwhelmed by the outpouring of support.

“The harbor has been wonderful,” says December Store owner Cappi Patterson. “When I went to each of the eateries, nobody turned me down. The port district has been helping with marketing. People are going all-out for us.”

“If you don’t share, you don’t get the holiday,” Patterson concludes. What better way to share your own good fortune this Thanksgiving than by participating in a tasty, artsy fundraiser?

The Bowl of Thanks takes place on Sunday, Nov. 6, 11 a.m.-4 p.m. at Ventura Harbor Village, 1583 Spinnaker Drive, Ventura. For more information, contact Ventura County Potters’ Guild at 644-6800, the December Store and More at 766-5920, or visit https://www.venturaharborvillage.com/event/bowl-of-thanks-fundraiser.