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Back To School Items Needed

Back To School Items Needed

Help a child be ready for school this year. Donate a backpack or make a cash donation.  Every little bit helps.

BACK TO SCHOOL SUPPLIES NEEDED

  • BACKPACKS (elementary, middle and high school- boy and girl)
  • Pencils
  • Pencil cap erasers
  • Markers
  • Pocket folders (2 each)
  • Scissors
  • Black pens
  • Blue pens
  • Wide rule paper
  • College rule paper

You may drop off at the ECHO facility or contact Kathy Collins at kathy@echofl.org  for more information.

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Children’s Board Grant helps ECHO improve technology for Community Training

Children’s Board Grant helps ECHO improve technology for Community Training

10462558_867416239939868_3827597977781912675_nIn a world where technology is everything, ECHO is fortunate to have the support of the Children’s Board of Hillsborough County.  We recently received a Tech Grant from the Children’s Board of Hillsborough County which allowed us to purchase new chairs, four laptop computers, a whiteboard and a filing cabinet.  These will be used in our newly redesigned Community Training Room where we offer GED classes, financial literacy classes, basic computer literacy classes and healthy living classes.  All of these are open to the public at no charge.

For over 25 years, ECHO has been providing emergency food and clothing assistance to residents of Eastern Hillsborough County.  With funding from generous funders such as the Children’s Board of Hillsborough County, we are able to expand our social services which allow us to do more.  We strive to help residents get out of the cycle of need and become self-sufficient and independent.

We thank the Children’s Board of Hillsborough County for their generosity and commitment to the community.

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Citi Group Volunteers for ECHO

Citi Group Volunteers for ECHO

On Saturday, June 7, 20 volunteers from Citi Group came to ECHO to fulfill a few much needed tasks. This included permanently fixing the fence behind ECHO. It also included assisting with sorting clothes in the donation room. When businesses and corporations allow and encourage their employees to volunteer at local non-profits such as ECHO, everyone benefits. Thank you Citi Group volunteers for your hard work and dedication. We at ECHO are most appreciative of all you do for us.

 

 

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Suncoast Credit Union Provides ECHO with Back To School Grant

Suncoast Credit Union Provides ECHO with Back To School Grant

Once again, Suncoast Credit Union Foundation has stepped up and provided ECHO with a grant for $5,000 for our Back to School Program. This directly translates into hundreds of children being equipped with a voucher for new shoes, age appropriate school supplies and a backpack. These children will be able to succeed in school because Suncoast Credit Union Foundation cares enough to know that children can and will succeed when they are given the basic tools to do well in school. No child should have to bear the burden of attending school without the same basic tools as their classmates, and this includes new shoes as well as notebooks, pencils and a backpack.

Thank you Suncoast Credit Union Foundation for your vision and generosity.

 

About Sunocast Credit Union Foundation: Suncoast Credit Union is proud to have founded the Suncoast Credit Union Foundation, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization established to benefit sick children and their families and to support educational initiatives. The foundation is a vehicle for Suncoast to support the communities we serve and help the people who live here. Since its inception in 1992, the Foundation has raised and donated over $7 million dollars to help provide a better future for the children of our community.

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Bank of America gives ECHO “Back to Work” Grant

Bank of America gives ECHO “Back to Work” Grant

ECHO is committed to assisting residents regain their independence, self-confidence and self-reliance.  This is often done not by giving a hand out, but by providing individuals with the means to obtain information and education so that they can gain the skills needed to return to work.

ECHO is grateful to Bank of America for the recent grant of $25,000 which was received on Tuesday, April 15.  The money will be applied to ECHO’s Back To Work Program which is designed to provide education and coaching to those residents who need it to re-enter the work force. In addition, the program will help remove barriers to employment such as lack of identification, appropriate transportation and clothing.

Stacey Efaw, Executive Director of ECHO said, “We are grateful to Bank of America for making this grant.  We see people every day who just need a little help, whether it be getting their GED, getting help with their resume and interview skills or just getting appropriate clothes for an interview. Together, we can give residents the tools and resources they need to be successful.”

Thank you Bank of America for being a community partner in ECHO’s effort to assistant residents in need.

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Healthy Living Classes offered for 3rd year

Healthy Living Classes offered for 3rd year

Thanks to the generosity of the Florida Blue Foundation, ECHO has received a Healthy Literacy Grant from the Florida Literacy Coalition which will allow us to once again be able to offer free Staying Healthy Classes to the community.  This is the third year that ECHO has been fortunate to receive this grant.

The Healthy Living classes teach residents how to live and be healthy despite stress and economic hardship.  The success of the classes is due to our instructor, Pat, who puts in countless hours and provides meaningful instruction and information that can be used by the attendees to live healthy.  Pat is assisted by a dedicated ECHO volunteer, Diane Mandile.

The class is popular and always full.  According to Sharmaine Burr, ECHO’s Client Center Supervisor, “Pat has a natural passion for the health and well being of the attendees.  Pat is a Diabetic Care Nurse. Her training has put her in a unique position to be compassionate and understanding.  She can instruct all residents on the importance of eating healthy and making good choices based on her training, education and experience.”

Attendees to ECHO’s Healthy Living Class get either a bag full of healthy foods accompanied by an easy to follow recipe or a selection of clothes.

The next session will begin this summer.  Call Sharmaine at 685-0935 for information and to sign up.

 

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Tribune: A box of this, a can of that will Feed the Bay

Tribune: A box of this, a can of that will Feed the Bay

By ELIZABETH BEHRMAN
Tribune staff
Published: March 21, 2014

 

BRANDON — Several thousand churchgoers will change out of their Sunday best and into their Feed the Bay T-shirts this weekend in time for the annual food drive.

Feed the Bay, in its ninth year, is a partnership between 34 local churches, most of them in the eastern part of the county, and 17 charitable agencies.

During Sunday services, the churches will hand out grocery lists compiled by participating agencies, including such organizations as Metropolitan Ministries and the Emergency Care Help Organization, or ECHO.

Volunteers will make their way to the grocery store after church, stock up on some of the items on the list and deposit their bags by 2 p.m. onto trucks at 19 Publix locations.

The trucks then will head back to the food banks, which will be ready to distribute the new items Monday.

“It’s really the easiest way to serve,” said Melanie Langston, Feed the Bay coordinator for Bay Life Church. Anyone can participate, not just church members, she said.

The list of requests includes more than 30 items ranging from toiletries to canned goods to crackers and cereal.

People are encouraged only to buy what they can afford to donate, said Debbie Weisemann, a team leader from Bell Shoals Baptist Church.

“Between you buying and me buying and other people buying, we got it,” she said.

Feed the Bay was started in 2006 by Brandon’s Bay Life Church and has collected more than a million pounds of food, toiletries and store gift cards through the years.

The event is held before Easter every year as a way to help the food banks restock after they begin to run out of the items they collect during the holiday season.

The goal is to expand the event throughout all of Hillsborough County and then statewide, Weisemann said.

Feed the Bay has grown, but the event stays true to the original mission, she said.

“The basic theme is always pretty much the same,” she said. “Really taking time to, first of all, pray for those that are walking through different times, and then going and doing something about it.”

To find out more about Feed the Bay donation locations, go to www.feedthebay.org.

 

ebehrman@tampatrib.com
(813) 259-7691

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ECHO is proud recipient of Darden Community Grants

ECHO is proud recipient of Darden Community Grants

We are proud to be a recipient of Darden’s Restaurant Community Grants Program! We recently received $2,000 which was made possible by two local Darden Restaurants, Bahama Breeze and Red Lobster, both located in Brandon.

It is because of the support ECHO receives from community partners such as Bahama Breeze and Red Lobster, that we are able to provide food assistance to over 16,000 area residents every year. ECHO provides more than just rice and beans and other non-perishable staples to residents in need. Each family also receives fresh produce, dairy and lean proteins.

In addition, thanks to the community support, ECHO is now able to add Thonotosassa (33592) to its service area. Thonotosassa has been an underserved portion of Eastern Hillsborough County, and ECHO is pleased to be able to provide services to the residents of Thonotosassa.

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Community Partners Support ECHO

ECHO is fortunate to have many community partners who come together to help so that ECHO can continue to serve over 16,000 area residents, half of whom are children, each year.
In just the last week, ECHO has received a great donation, food from a food drive and a visit from a great funder and partner.

On Friday, February 21, ECHO received a check totaling $2,200 from the Corner Bakery Brandon. This represented the donations that the community made while enjoying a great meal at Corner Bakery’s Preview Party on Saturday, January 18. ECHO was selected by the Corner Bakery as the beneficiary of this day after reviewing over 10 non-profits. We are so happy to have the Corner Bakery as one of our community partners.

On Saturday, February 22, Boy Scouts from Gulf Ridge Council held the Annual Scouting for Food Drive.  This fabulous event resulted in over 10,000 pounds of food for ECHO!  We are grateful not only to the Boy Scouts for their hard work and dedication, but to the community who so graciously donated the food.  Thank you.

On Monday, February 24 members of the Children’s Board of Hillsborough County came for a tour of ECHO.  The Children’s Board has been a great partner.  We are so grateful for their support and partnership which has allowed ECHO to expand the free programs that are offered to everyone in the community.

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