Virginia Woolf once said, “One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well.” ECHO has been helping residents of the Brandon community and beyond live well for more than 30 years. “We are here when someone loses their job, gets their hours cut, moves from another state without a plan, or faces eviction,” said ECHO’s Executive Director, Eleanor Saunders. “ECHO is here to provide immediate relief.” ECHO gives more clothing per client than any other nonprofit in Tampa Bay. In addition to clothing, ECHO clients each receive at least 20 pounds of food per family member. Food that includes fresh meat, eggs, produce, cheese, and butter.
This past March, ECHO hosted their annual breakfast. “Our first breakfast was held in October 2015,” Saunders said. “The ECHO Board of Directors and our former Executive Director, Stacey Efaw envisioned an annual fundraising event that would showcase first hand stories, a clear presentation of ECHO’s vision for the future, and an opportunity for attendees to partner with us in creating a community of hope and stability for neighbors in crisis.”
This year’s breakfast raised an astounding $90,000 for one morning’s time. “Yes, $90,000 was raised in one morning,” Saunders said. “But, that includes all pledges made over the next five years. When a partner pledged $5,000 over the next five years, we were required to count the entire pledge amount. The actual day of netted $22,000, with the remaining $68,000 coming in on a monthly basis over the next five years.” ECHO’s Board of Directors came in strong this year as well, pledging over $35,000 over the next five years. “We had a wonderful presenting sponsor in Brandon Legal Group,” Saunders said. “
The money raised at this year’s breakfast will go towards launching a new ECHO location in Riverview. “Plans are now officially underway to launch ECHO’s second location in Riverview,” Saunders said.
Saunders and all of ECHO are so incredibly thankful for all those who attended the recent breakfast and generously gave.“
ECHO will be their next food drive on May 12. Non-perishable food items can be left in bags next to residents ‘mailboxes on Saturday, May 12. Postal employees will collect the food on their routes. All food collected in Brandon, Valrico, Seffner, and Riverview will be donated to ECHO. Visit www.echofl.org or call 685-0935. ECHO is located at 507 N. Parsons Ave. in Brandon.