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ECHO EARNS COVETED 4-STAR RATING FROM CHARITY NAVIGATOR

ECHO EARNS COVETED 4-STAR RATING FROM CHARITY NAVIGATOR

(Tampa, Fl.) – ECHO’s strong financial health and commitment to accountability and transparency have earned it a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator, America’s largest independent charity evaluator. This is the first time that ECHO has earned this top distinction.

Since 2002, using objective analysis, Charity Navigator has awarded only the most fiscally responsible organizations a 4-star rating. In 2011, Charity Navigator added 17 metrics, focused on governance and ethical practices as well as measures of openness, to its ratings methodology. These Accountability & Transparency metrics, which account for 50 percent of a charity’s overall rating, reveal which charities operate in accordance with industry best practices and whether they are open with their donors and stakeholders. On June 1, 2016, we upgraded our methodology for rating each charity’s’ financial health with CN 2.1. These enhancements further substantiates the financial health of our four star charities. (more…)

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Single mom speaks up for group that helped in time of need

By: Ernest Hooper
ehooper@tampbay.com
Published: October 6, 2016

Michele Pruitt is smart, confident, successful, beautiful and professional.

 And despite possessing all of those attributes, she found herself in dire need a year ago.

Pruitt, the mother of an 11-year-old daughter who celebrated her birthday Wednesday, suddenly landed in the role of single parent in 2015. She made too much to qualify for assistance, but not enough to make ends meet.

At the Emergency Care Help Organization Empower Breakfast on Wednesday, Pruitt courageously told the audience at the fundraiser how she used the last of her food to make her daughter’s lunch for school.

“I was out of gas, out of money and out of hope,” Pruitt said, “And it was only Monday.”

A friend told her to call ECHO. Now.

She reached Sharmaine Burr, director of social services, and Burr told her to drive over. She cried all along the way, afraid she might run out of gas, but reached the center on Parsons Avenue in Brandon. Once she arrived, the program gave her some needed groceries — and something even more important.

“Sharmaine gave me some awesome counsel and encouragement,” Pruitt shared.

Burr also gave her instructions to drive to the gas station next door, where she filled up her tank while staring at the pump through tears.

Pruitt returned the favor, using her marketing background to help Burr successfully coordinate ECHO’s first job fair. ECHO invested in her, and she invested in ECHO. At the fair, she interviewed for a job on the spot and earned a role as the marketing coordinator with Braille Works in Seffner.

Pruitt illustrated in her poignant presentation that charities like ECHO help not only the homeless, but so many people in our community who stand one lost job, one crippling medical diagnosis or one unexpected twist or turn from needing help.

There are a lot of us — and I mean us — who persevere in the face of that reality.

I love her courage and her willingness to inspire others to give. She stood proudly on that stage and proclaimed, “I am the return on your investment.”

Imagine how many more gains we might realize on our investment, if we just gave a little more — not just money, but of our time and talent. Find out more at echofl.org.

What you give will come back to you, maybe when you need it most.

That’s all I’m saying.

Original article found Here

 

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EMPOWER ECHO: Take the Next Step Breakfast

Brandon, Fl – Emergency Care Help Organization (ECHO) is excited to announce this years Empower ECHO fundraising breakfast. This annual event shares ECHO’s vision with the community and raises ongoing financial support for ECHO’s emergency programs as well as education and job skills training for hurting families.

Empower ECHO is on Wednesday, October 5th at The Regent located at 6437 Watson Road Riverview, Fl 33578. The event will be from 8:00 am to 9:00 am, and doors will open at 7:30 am. Attendees will be served a complimentary breakfast as they enjoy emcee, Ernest Hooper and a children’s choir. This event will aid ECHO in fulfilling their goal of ending hunger in Hillsborough county. ECHO’s Executive Director, Eleanor Saunders says, “The breakfast is one of the highlights of our year. It is such a thrill to celebrate lives changed, while casting our vision for the future.”

ECHO provides food and clothing for residents of Eastern Hillsborough County who have experienced a recent emergency.  Since its inception in 1987, ECHO has served more than 180,000 Brandon area residents. Along with immediate resources, ECHO also provides an array of educational classes and basic social services.

There is no cost involved, but RSVP is required for this event. You may RSVP at https://empowerechobreakfast.eventbrite.com.

Empower ECHO is also in need of table host. A table host would commit to inviting people to sit at their table of 8. For more information, contact Laura Young at laura@echofl.org or 813-685-0935 ext. 8008. Visit www.echofl.org for more information on all upcoming events at ECHO.

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ECHO’s Fall Job Fair Open to the Public

Brandon, Fl – Emergency Care Help Organization (ECHO) of Brandon is hosting a Fall Job Fair that is open to the public.

ECHO’s Fall Job Fair will be held Thursday, September 15, 2016 from 10:00 am to 1:00 pm at the Boys & Girls Club of Brandon, located at 213 N. Knights Ave, Brandon, Fl 33510. Anyone who is interested in attending, may register online at https://echofalljobfair.eventbrite.com.

ECHO has historically been known as the local resource for emergency food and clothing, but it is so much more than that. ECHO wants to help the clients they serve become self sufficient, and the Fall Job Fair will do just that. There will be a multitude of positions available, including but not limited to, behavioral health tech, bus driver, case manager, centralized small business banker, child protection investigator trainee, claims analyst II, counselor, custodial, customer service representatives, LPN, maintenance, teacher and youth care workers.

The goal in hosting the job fair, is to provide our community partners an efficient way to survey a large number of quality job candidates quickly and inexpensively. ECHO will continue to provide food and clothing for residents of Eastern Hillsborough County who have experienced a recent emergency; while offering access to life-stabilizing programs and resources.

For more information, contact Sharmaine Burr at sharmaine@echofl.org or (813) 685-0935 ext. 8003.

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EMERGENCY CARE HELP ORGANIZATION (ECHO) RECEIVES $6,000 GRANT FROM SUNCOAST CREDIT UNION TO SUPPORT ANNUAL BACK TO SCHOOL PROGRAM


BRANDON, Fla. (6/10/2016) – Suncoast Credit Union has awarded the Emergency Care Help Organization (ECHO) a $6,000 grant to support the organization’s Back to School Program, a partnership with the YMCA to provide backpacks full of school supplies to families in ECHO’s service areas in eastern Hillsborough County. The credit union will present the grant at a “Back to School” event on July 30. The event will also provide additional services such as children’s vision screening, dental checkups, children’s insurance and haircuts.

Along with the backpacks, 300 qualifying children will receive vouchers to purchase new shoes. The goal is to provide 1500 children with the supplies they need to avoid falling behind in school due to lack of resources.

“These school supplies and shoes make such a difference for our students and families,” said ECHO Executive Director Eleanor Saunders. “We are grateful for all of the work that Suncoast Credit Union does to empower children in our community and to help them access the education they deserve.”

The Back to School event on Saturday, July 30 will take place from 9:00 a.m.-11:00 a.m. at Camp Cristina: 9840 Balm Riverview Road, Riverview, FL 33569. Registration will take place June 28-July 15 at ECHO, 507 North Parsons Avenue, Brandon, FL 33510 until slots are filled. Families interested in signing up must bring a valid picture ID, social security cards for all members in the household and proof of residence (any mail addressed to the applicant within the last 30 days). Families must also live in one of ECHO’s service areas: 33510, 33511, 33527, 33534, 33547, 33568, 33569, 33678, 33579, 33584, 33592, 33595, 33596, 33610 and 33619.

About ECHO

ECHO provides food and clothing for residents of eastern Hillsborough County who have experienced a recent emergency.  Since its inception in 1987, ECHO has served more than 180,000 Brandon area residents. Along with immediate resources, ECHO also offers access to life-stabilizing programs and resources. 

About Suncoast Credit Union
Suncoast Credit Union is the largest credit union in the state of Florida, the eighth largest in the United States based on membership, and the 14th largest in the United States based on its $7.5 billion in assets. Chartered in 1934 as Hillsborough County Teachers Credit Union, Suncoast Credit Union currently operates 60 full-service branches and serves more than 704,389 members in the following Florida counties: Charlotte, Citrus, Collier, DeSoto, Dixie, Gilchrist, Glades, Hardee, Hendry, Hernando, Highlands, Hillsborough, Lee, Levy, Manatee, Marion, Pasco, Pinellas, Polk, Sarasota and Sumter. Since its founding in 1992, the Suncoast Credit Union Foundation has raised and donated over $16 million to organizations and initiatives that support the health, education and emotional well-being of children in the communities that the credit union serves. For more information visit: suncoastcreditunion.com, facebook.com/SuncoastCreditUnion or @SuncoastCU.

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Emergency Care Help Organization(ECHO) Receives $8,000 Grant from the Dollar General Literacy Foundation to Support Adult Literacy

Brandon, Fl.– 5/20/2016– This week, the Dollar General Literacy Foundation awarded ECHO an $8,000 grant to support adult literacy. This local grant award is part of over $7.1 million in grants awarded to more than 900 schools, nonprofits and organizations across the 43 states that Dollar General serves.

“We are so grateful for this grant. It will allow us to continue growing our GED program for the next year,” said Executive Director, Eleanor Saunders.

ECHO’s free GED classes are offered to adults 18 and up. The classes allow students to work at their own pace and their own level while receiving individual attention. Helping clients reach self-sufficiency is a top priority at ECHO, and receiving their GED starts them down that path. ECHO has had great success recently, it graduated a student who was able to receive a job a month later.

“Consistent with our mission of Serving Others, we are excited to provide these organizations with funding to further literacy and education across the communities we call home,” said Todd Vasos, Dollar General’s CEO. “It is always so exciting to see the true and meaningful impact the Dollar General Literacy Foundation has on both children and adults looking to improve their lives through literacy.”

The Dollar General Literacy Foundation is proud to support initiatives that help others improve their lives through literacy and education. Since its inception in 1993, the Dollar General Literacy Foundation has awarded more than $120 million in grants to nonprofit organizations, helping more than 7.3 million individuals take their first steps toward literacy or continued education.


About ECHO

ECHO provides food and clothing for residents of Eastern Hillsborough County who have experienced a recent emergency.  Since its inception in 1987, ECHO has served more than 180,000 Brandon area residents. Along with immediate resources, ECHO also offers access to life-stabilizing programs and resources. 

About the Dollar General Literacy Foundation
The Dollar General Literacy Foundation is proud to support initiatives that help others improve their lives through literacy and education as part of the company’s mission of Serving Others for over 20 years. Since its inception in 1993, the Dollar General Literacy Foundation has awarded more than $120 million in grants to nonprofit organizations, helping more than 7.3 million individuals take their first steps toward literacy or continued education. For more information about the Dollar General Literacy Foundation and its grant programs, visit www.dgliteracy.org.

About Dollar General Corporation
Dollar General Corporation (NYSE: DG) has been delivering value to shoppers for over 75 years through its mission of Serving Others. Dollar General helps shoppers Save time. Save money. Every day!® by offering products that are frequently used and replenished, such as food, snacks, health and beauty aids, cleaning supplies, clothing for the family, housewares and seasonal items at low everyday prices in convenient neighborhood locations. Dollar General operates 12,483 stores in 43 states as of January 29, 2016. In addition to high quality private brands, Dollar General sells products from America’s most-trusted manufacturers such as Clorox, Energizer, Procter & Gamble, Hanes, Coca-Cola, Mars, Unilever, Nestle, Kimberly-Clark, Kellogg’s, General Mills, and PepsiCo. For more information on Dollar General, please visit www.dollargeneral.com.

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ECHO helps candidates get ready for job fair with mock interviews

By Laura Cone
Brandon News Published: April 13, 2016

While helping clients in need of food or clothing, Sharmaine Burr discovered most people desperately want work. This year, she will help job candidates prepare for the ECHO (Emergency Care Help Organization) job fair with mock interviews and first impression assessments.

Burr, the director of social services for ECHO, said the April 21 job fair will take place at the Boys & Girls Club, 213 N. Knights Ave., Brandon, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

“The job fair was a vision I had for over two years after listening to clients come in day after day to receive food and clothing because they are either underemployed or unemployed,” she said. “They have a desire to work so they can provide for their families.”

Burr oversees the “Client Center” operation as well as manages classes in ECHO’s “Opportunity Center” such as our Jobs4Jobs employability program, financial literacy, GED, & Mommy & Me.

“Seeing that there were not many job fairs that happened in the Brandon area, I just felt the need to continue to push the vision which came true last year when ECHO hosted our fall job fair,” she said. “I had less than 60 days to pull it together, so it was such a blessing to see the vision come alive. There were over 150 applicants that came out looking for jobs and over 30 employers and agency’s ready to receive the applicants.”

She said the upcoming job fair will include free parking and computer access. The first 25 candidates who arrive receive a free portfolio.

She said this year would be different because they will add a “pre-job fair assessment” on April 15, which includes. Mock interviews and resume reviews also will occur during the actual job fair on April 21.

“The first impression assessment is important because making a great impression is imperative and everything contributes to the way we look on the outside as well how we feel on the inside,” she said. “Everything counts. Planning this event takes dedication, patience and persistence. Because I love what I do, it comes natural to me. While it has not been easy, it’s worth it when I receive emails of success stories resulting from the job fair.”

Zuleyka Castro, the communications manager for ECHO, said the participating companies include Bass Pro Shops, Cheddars, Man Power, Tampa Metropolitan Area YMCA, Wells Fargo, Hillsborough Community College and other small businesses and major employers from the area.

Castro said the goal is to create a biannual event that connects a large number of quality job candidates with participating companies.

Some of the positions available include administrative assistant, accountant, plant manufacturing, information technology, after-school group leader, bus operator, sales, cashier, and bilingual phone operators.

Castro said people should register by visiting echospringjobfair.eventbrite.com or by visiting echofl.org.

Original article found Here

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