On Thursday, March 10, ECHO will host its annual breakfast at New Hope Church’s new event center in Brandon. This is ECHO’s sixth annual breakfast, and it will focus on its amazing volunteers.

On Thursday, March 10, ECHO will host its annual breakfast at New Hope Church’s new event center in Brandon.

“Our first breakfast was held in October 2015,” Eleanor Saunders, current executive director of ECHO, said. “The ECHO Board of Directors and our former executive director, Stacey Efaw, envisioned an annual fundraising event that would showcase firsthand 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 is ECHO’s sixth annual breakfast.

“ECHO does not hold multiple events a year,” Saunders said. “This is our most important fundraising event. We hold to exactly one hour. It is a time for the community to meet a few individuals who have been helped, our volunteers, our board of directors and our staff. It is truly a feel-good, rally-cry type event. There is the desperate need in our community and there is some concrete, life-giving ways that all of us can be a part of the solution.”

In the past breakfasts, ECHO has highlighted those who have helped, its staff and its board. This year, guests will be hearing from ECHO’s volunteers.

“ECHO could not thrive without our committed team of volunteers,” Saunders said. “We are literally nothing without them. We will be hearing this year from a few of our faithful volunteers, what have they witnessed over the past year and why do they keep coming back, week after week.”

Saunders hopes everyone who attends this year’s breakfast will leave inspired.

“First and foremost, I want all participants and attendees to walk away encouraged, inspired and activated to do more,” Saunders said. “The last year has been one of substantial growth for ECHO and there is nothing but additional growth ahead. The breakfast provides unrestricted revenue for the organization. The funds will empower us to hire additional staff and expand our mobile back to work program.”

ECHO has been a part of the Brandon community for many years, and Saunders is proud that her organization can continue to help those in need in our community.

“ECHO is part of the very fabric of Brandon,” Saunders said. “Founded in 1987, the organization serves over 15,000 local residents per year, providing everything from emergency food and clothing to one-on-one job coaching and advocacy. When our neighbors are in crisis, they have somewhere to turn.”

If you would like to learn more about ECHO, you can visit its website at www.echofl.org or call 685-0935. ECHO is located at 507 N. Parsons Ave. in Brandon.

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Libby Hopkins
Libby Hopkins has been a part of the Brandon community for more than 30 years. She is a graduate of USF with a degree in journalism. She has been a freelance writer for The Osprey Observer Newspaper since 2008. She also the Executive Director of Center Place Fine Arts and Civic Association. She is a dog mom to her rescue dog, Marshall. She loves being a part of the Brandon Community and she loves sharing positive news about our community.