RIVERVIEW — On a recent sweltering Saturday, Katrina Hockman hand-watered fledgling plots of vegetables with a hose hooked to an old well; about the only manmade structure left on this slice of a former dairy farm.
Thigh-high grass engulfs most of the three-acre tract, but Hockman is determined to carve out a community garden here. She envisions a space filled with vegetables and fruit to feed the needy, a place where people can meditate or get their hands dirty.
“I know how I want this to look. Right now it’s just in my head. I want to be able to incorporate the Winthrop vision of community and art.”
The patch of land Hockman is tending is part of Winthrop, a neotraditional development founded by John and Kay Sullivan that includes Winthrop Town Center, Winthrop Village and Winthrop Events Centre.
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Back to School Event 2013
ECHO staffer, Kathy Collins, joins representatives of HSBC, Bank of America, Suncoast Schools Federal Credit Union Foundation and Citi. ECHO extends many thanks to the four banks for supporting our efforts to provide area children with backpacks and age appropriate school supplies. Each not only gave monetary donations and or supplies, but they also provided much needed volunteer support at the Backpack Outreach Event held on Saturday, August 10 at Camp Cristina in Riverview. The event, in coordination with the YMCA, furnished over 1600 children with the materials needed to succeed in school!
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BRANDON — Five community agencies known for helping families with daily needs, tutoring and other educational issues are set to receive grants this year from the Children’s Board of Hillsborough County.
One agency — Pregnancy Care Center of Plant City — guides women through unplanned pregnancies and offers post-abortion counseling, while another — Emergency Care Help Organization in Brandon — helps struggling families put food on the table and clothes on their children.
The Greater Palm River Point Community Development Corp. offers services to families whose youngsters may need tutoring or whose adults may need job training and the Family Literacy Academy of Tampa Bay in Plant City teaches both youngsters and adults how to read. Down south in Wimauma, Wholesome Community Ministries Inc. is focusing its efforts on poor families in the South Shore area. (more…)
The Brandon Emergency Care Help Organization was among 12 nonprofit food banks that received $10,000 each during the July 26 forum.
Posted by D’Ann White (Editor)
As part of its efforts to combat the global food crisis, The Mosaic Co. hosted a hunger relief forum July 26 at which it donated $120,000 to 12 local food banks to help the one in six people in Central Florida who don’t know where they will get their next meal.
The community forum, attended by hundreds of local leaders at the Florida State Fairgrounds, featured a presentation by National Geographic magazine photographer John Stanmeyer, who shared his photographs and perspective on the global food crisis.
Hosted by Gary N. “Bo” Davis, Mosaic’s senior vice president of phosphate operations, the forum also included a panel discussion with local experts.
“Sustaining our food supply literally starts from the ground up,” said Davis. “It’s a collaborative effort that requires engagement from mine to market. The experiences we’ve shared with the organizations serving the front lines of this issue remind us every day how important our work is to finding sustainable solutions for this very real and growing problem at home and around the globe as the world gains 75 million new people each year.”
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“Bringing hope to Tampa Bay” is the aim of this weekend’s run at the Al Lopez Park in Tampa.
The Emergency Care Help Organization of Brandon, with Holy Innocents Episcopal Church, is presenting a “Run To End Hunger” at Al Lopez Park in Tampa this weekend.
The event is Saturday, March 23, from 7 a.m. to 10 a.m., and features a 5K chip-timed run and a 3K run for kids, also chip-timed.
Registration at the park on race day begins at 7 a.m. (more…)
By PAUL CATALA | Tribune correspondent
Published: March 12, 2013
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RIVERVIEW –The conditions weren’t as dire as those found during the Great Depression, but guests in a soup line still got a taste of the bare sustenance lifestyles some in eastern Hillsborough County go through each day.Standing underneath an outdoor pavilion, representatives from local restaurants and charitable organizations spooned out bowlfuls of various soups to guests who took part in Emergency Care Help Organization Brandon’s (ECHO) first “Empty Bowls” event.It was one of dozens of Empty Bowls events held annually around the world by artists and art groups to fight hunger.Artists create and donate bowls, then serve a simple meal. This year, five area elementary schools – Alafia, Cimino, Lithia Springs, Winthrop Charter, Frost and classes from Metropolitan Ministries — donated decorative clay pottery bowls handmade by students.
With their $15 donation, guests got to pick out a bowl to take home and were served a meal of soup, bread and water at the Winthrop Pole Barn.
Stacey Efaw, ECHO executive director, said about 20 ECHO volunteers came out to work the event. Ten area restaurants and civic groups served their favorite soups ranging from chicken noodle and cream of broccoli, to black bean and clam and corn chowder.
The event raised $7,000, adding to the $5,500 in sponsorships raised in advance.
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Most of the students in art teacher Shelly Valdez’s classes likely have not experienced real hunger in their young lives.
As they prepared to make clay pinch bowls that will be used during an anti-hunger fundraiser, they learned that some 400,000 people just in the greater Hillsborough County region face food shortages regularly. Hunger is a reality for one in six children in this community.
The Lithia Springs Elementary School students made dozens of small clay bowls that will be used for Empty Bowls 2013, a fundraiser hosted by the Emergency Care Help Organization, or ECHO, to feed the needy. ECHO, located in Brandon, steps in for families in catastrophic situations when they need immediate assistance. (more…)
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By Kathy L Collins
Julian Craft has been characterized in many ways- A knight in shining armor, one of the nicest men you will ever meet and an unbelievably generous and civic minded resident. Throughout his life, Craft has received several awards for his community service in the greater Brandon area.
On Friday, December 7, at the 39th Annual Tampa/Hillsborough County Human Rights Council’s Human Rights Awards Celebration in Tampa, Craft was awarded the 2012 Human Rights Award. He received this distinction because he was instrumental in saving a local food and clothing pantry now known as ECHO. Craft was unable to attend the ceremony, and his son, Mark Craft, M.D. received the award for his father. (more…)