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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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Press Release: ECHO’s Joins Give Day Tampa Bay and Urges Area Residents to Give Locally on May 3, 2016

Brandon, Fl – Emergency Care Help Organization (ECHO) of Brandon is excited to be participating in the third annual Give Day Tampa Bay on May 3, 2016 and we are encouraging residents to donate to us in our efforts 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.

All money raised on this day will stay in the community.

Give Day Tampa Bay is a 24-hour, online giving event, designed to increase philanthropy in the Tampa Bay area and raise awareness of the amazing work local nonprofits do in this community. This is the third year that the Community Foundation of Tampa Bay has sponsored this event, which raised $1.75 million for 550 Tampa Bay area nonprofits last year.

Your donation to ECHO will assist in suppling close to 100 families with food and clothing every week. It will help the unemployed acquire job skills and find jobs with local employers. Your donation ensures that GED test are passed. ECHO is so much more than just food and clothing. Our classes help struggling heads of households learn life changing money management skills and young mothers learn to set long term goals. Donate to ECHO on May 3, 2016 and help us provide to our neighbors.

In addition to raising awareness of the participating nonprofits, Give Day Tampa Bay offers cash prizes to the participants with the most donations, another reason to give on May 3.

“This year, our goal is to raise $10,000, what an amazing boost this would be for us! We also hope to win one of the many cash prizes in the prize pool,” said Executive Director, Eleanor Saunders.

It’s so simple to give during Give Day Tampa Bay. Simply visit www.GiveDay.org on May 3, 2016 and find ECHO in the list of participating organizations. All donations made are tax-deductible and will remain in our local community.

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Press Release:Fight hunger, shop for a cause at upcoming ECHO events

Fight hunger, shop for a cause at upcoming ECHO events
BY Linda Chion Kenney
Special Correspondent
Published: February 17, 2016

BRANDON — The Emergency Care Help Organization is gearing up for a host of events to support its work as a key social services provider operating out of its storefront on Parsons Avenue in Brandon.

The fourth annual Empty Bowls event, featuring soups from 12 area restaurants and bowls created by local schoolchildren, is set for March 19, at St. Andrews United Methodist Church in Brandon. The church sits at the intersection of Bryan Road and Bloomingdale Avenue.

There are two, one-hour serving times, starting at noon and 1:30 p.m. Tickets cost $10 for adults and $5 for children. Kids under age 5 are free and all attendees are invited to take home their decorated bowls.

“Empty Bowls serves as a reminder of the hunger many people in our community face every day,” said donor relations manager Laura Young, in an ECHO event announcement. “Empty Bowls raises awareness of local hunger as well as raising much needed funds to allow ECHO to continue to serve close to 100 families every week.”

Each month, on the second Saturday, ECHO invites the public to “shop for a cause” at the Mini Trunk Show, set to run 8 a.m. to noon, at ECHO headquarters, at 507 N. Parsons Ave.

“Name brands such as Ann Taylor, Banana Republic and White House Black Market will be featured, just to name a few,” reads the event announcement. “Also, loads of high-quality jewelry, handbags and even vintage clothing will be available at great prices.”

On the remaining Saturdays, same time, except for holiday weekends, ECHO holds a Charity Thrift Sale featuring discounted overstock clothing and small household items. The next dates are Feb. 20 and 27.

ECHO’s mission is to provide emergency care to people in eastern Hillsborough County and to help them toward self-sufficiency. Immediate relief comes in the form of food, clothing and household items.

Supporters are invited to sign up for Amazon Smile, to donate 0.5 percent of all eligible purchases to ECHO.

For more, visit www .echofl.org. Call: 813-685-0935.

– Original Article found here

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PRESS RELEASE: ECHO Host a Behind the Scenes Tour every Third Thursday at 2:00 PM

Brandon, Fl – Emergency Care Help Organization (ECHO) of Brandon is hosting Behind the Scenes Tours showcasing the work ECHO does for the Greater Brandon Community. The tour will educate and inform community leaders and interested individuals about the mission of ECHO, the services they provide, as well as the needs of our community.

ECHO’s Behind the Scenes Tour will be held the third Thursday of every month at ECHO located at 507 N. Parsons Ave. Brandon, Fl 33510. The 44 minute presentations are purely informational – there is absolutely no ‘ask’ of money or time in any way. Participants will hear first hand how ECHO uses donations to change the lives of more than 100 families every week.
Executive Director, Eleanor Saunders is passionate about the work ECHO does and is eager for the community to learn more. “Most tour participants walk away saying: ‘I had no idea ECHO did all that!’ Exactly why our tours are so important! We are passionate about programming that promotes long term life change.”

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.

For more information or to register for an upcoming tour, contact Laura Young at laura@echofl.com or (813)-685-0935 ext. 8008.

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PRESS RELEASE:ECHO’s Empty Bowls Event To Raise Awareness, Funds For Hungry Locals

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February 17, 2016
ECHO’s Empty Bowls Event To Raise Awareness, Funds For Hungry Locals
By Renee Hobbs

You can help the hungry in the area by getting involved in Emergency Care Help Organization’s (ECHO) fourth annual Empty Bowls in the Brandon/Riverview area. The event is Saturday, March 19 at Saint Andrews United Methodist Church located at 3315 Bryan Rd. in Brandon. Guests will be able to sample a lot of different soups donated by about 10 restaurants in the area. How does chicken lemon rice soup sound? Or maybe the seafood bisque or Ruben soups appeal to you. And you will also get to take home a bowl made by local elementary students from one of the six participating schools.

There is a 12 Noon seating as well as a 1:30 p.m. seating. The cost is $10 for adults, $5 for children 5 and older, children under 5 are free.

Laura Young, Community Development Manager for ECHO, got very excited and proud when she spoke about the bowls the children made.

“They are the cutest little bowls you have ever seen; they are hedgehogs,” she laughed.

“The idea is to remind you of the hunger many people in your own back yard have to face every day,” said ECHO Executive Director Eleanor Saunders.

Almost 62 percent of children in Hillsborough County qualify for a free or reduced priced meal, which is an increase of 12 percent from five years ago. Four hundred and eighty three children are homeless. On the average, six out of 10 children standing in the serving line are living below the poverty line. Saunders continued, “ECHO raises much needed funds through this event and others, to serve about 300 families each month.”

ECHO helps 14 zip codes in the area and basically covers the Eastern part of Hillsborough County. Young remarked, “We receive no government funds so we depend on donations of individuals and businesses. We are always in need of something.”

A few of those items include dried milk packets, canned meat, pasta and sauce, and jelly. Young said, “We get peanut butter but rarely jelly.”

Other critical items include toiletries, “especially deodorant and toothpaste,” said Young. There are several options to participate in the event. You can be a sponsor by donating anywhere from $250 to $5,000 dollars. To find out more, visit www.echofl.org.

Originally published here

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Press Release: ECHO’S 4TH ANNUAL EMPTY BOWLS

ECHO’s 4th Annual Empty Bowls Raises Awareness of Local Hunger

Brandon, Fl – Emergency Care Help Organization (ECHO) is excited to announce the 4th annual Empty Bowls. This event raises awareness of local hunger as well as raising much needed funds to allow ECHO to continue to serve more than 100 families every week.
Empty Bowls is on Saturday, March 19 at St. Andrews United Methodist Church located at 3315 Bryan Rd. Brandon, Fl 33511. There will be a 12:00 pm seating and a 1:30 pm seating.  Attendees can sample a variety of soups donated by area restaurants and take home a bowl made by local school children. The empty bowl serves as a reminder of the hunger many people in the community face every day. Guests leave with a greater sense and understanding of local hunger…hunger that is present in the greater Brandon community. ECHO’s Executive Director, Eleanor Saunders says, “Empty Bowls is an amazing awareness experience for the entire family. Beyond the delicious soups and beautiful handcrafted bowls, participants will be exposed to the reality of local hunger.”

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.

Tickets for Empty Bowls are $10 for adults, $5 for kids, and children under 5 are free. Tickets are available at https://echosemptybowls.eventbrite.com

Empty Bowls is also in need of sponsorships and restaurants to provide soup. For more information, contact Laura Young at laura@echofl.org. Visit www.echofl.org for more information on all upcoming events at ECHO.

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