By Kathy Collins
Each October ECHO holds its Annual Kids Helping Kids Fashion Show. For the last few years, ECHO has named one child, who raises the most money for ECHO, Mr. or Miss ECHO. This year, two young ladies were honored. Teanna Fortson was named Miss ECHO 2013 for her efforts at raising an astounding $1,121.50. Tatiana Josey-Ortiz was named Miss ECHO, Jr. 2013 for her efforts at raising $1,005.
Stacey Efaw, Executive Director of ECHO said, “This is a first for ECHO. Never before have we had two children raise over a thousand dollars each. We felt that it was important to honor both of them for their extraordinary efforts in raising funds for ECHO.”
Teanna Fortson is eight-years-old and is a third-grade student at Kid’s Community College Southeast. This is her first fashion show. When asked why she participated, she said, “ECHO was at Kid’s Community College SE Family Fun Day and my mom asked how kids could help. The lady told us about the fashion show and I wanted to do it. I wanted to help people and I like fashion,”
Teanna used Facebook and the online fundraising tool FirstGiving to raise money. Teanna said, “I made a web page with a picture and a YouTube video. I talked to people and my grandparents put it on Facebook. My grandfather e-mailed President and Mrs. Obama and told them about ECHO.”
Similarly, Tatiana who is six-years-old and a first-grade student at Summerfield Crossing Elementary School, used the online fundraising tool as well. Tatiana said, ” I love clothes, so at first I wanted to be in the show because it was a fashion show. My mother explained the show and why I had to do fundraising I was really excited because I wanted to do my best to help kids to have a home, food and clean clothes, like I do.” Tatiana added, “It was great to make my $1000 goal because I know that money will help a lot of kids.”
The money raised by the children at the 11th Annual Kids Helping Kids Fashion Show will be used to help provide area residents, over half of whom are children, with emergency food and clothing assistance.
For more information on ECHO and on ways you can help, please visit www.echofl.org.