ECHO Resounds in the Community With Support for Those in Need
Stacey Efaw, executive director of the Emergency Care Help Organization (ECHO) in Brandon, recounts the year that was in numbers that reflect the continuing and growing need for aid to help people facing tough economic times.
More than 10,000 people in the Greater Brandon area have been served in 2012 by volunteers at the Emergency Care Help Organization (ECHO) in Brandon, about half of whom were children, according to Stacey Efaw, the group's executive director.
Founded in 1987, ECHO is a food pantry and clothing assistance source for residents of the Greater Brandon area who have experienced a recent emergency. ECHO is at 507 North Parsons Ave., north of Brandon Boulevard (State Road 60).
ECHO 2012: Recapping Successes
In a year-end message, Efaw noted the accomplishments of ECHO over the past year, as noted below:
- ECHO distributed more than 221,000 pounds of food.
- ECHO gave out just under $1 million dollars worth of clothes, all of which was donated by community members.
- In all, 193 volunters, plus 48 student volunteers, worked 18,650 volunteer hours.
- The ECHO Client Center opened in May. The center allows people to be seen in private by a social worker, HCC interns and specially trained volunteers. The center was made possible thanks to a generous grant from Allegheny Franciscan Ministries.
- ECHO is now an access site for the Federal Food Assistance Program and Medicaid.
- ECHO has a bank of computers that allow clients to conduct job searches and apply for housing assistance.
- ECHO has offered Healthy Living Classes thanks to a grant fro Florida Blue.
- ECHO now has a truck for food pick-up and can provide healthy and nutritious fruits and produce thanks to a grant from Walmart.
- ECHO has two plots at the Bay Life Community Garden and is growing collard greens.