SAN ANTONIO - Since the year 2000, the SAMMinistries Empty Bowls event has raised nearly $700,000 to help families in financial crisis.

It's a simple concept: you buy a handmade bowl and enjoy some delicious soup, all while supporting a great cause in the process.

The event takes place at the Southwest School of Art from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on March 1.

John Nelson is one of the potters making bowls for this year’s event.

Nelson is a former government employee and teacher who found a love for pottery 25 years ago.

"I keep my hands dirty. Now that I’m retired, it’s been sort of a therapy for me," Nelson said.

It's a hobby he, along with everyone with the San Antonio Potters Guild, loves to share.

Every year they make 2,500 bowls for the event and Nelson says helping SAMMinistries support families in need makes it all worth it.

"It makes me feel great every time when I open the gates at 11 o'clock on the first of March and there's a line up for a block of people ready to get in," he said.