Who We Are
How It All Started
ECHO was founded in 1987 in partnership with the Brandon Ministerial Association and the business community. It was created so churches and others could send people in need to one central location. ECHO was orginally housed at a local firehouse and only provided emergency food and clothing. At this time, volunteers staffed it completely.
In 1992, we hired a part-time executive director and became an incorporated organization. That same year we moved to our current location, 507 W. Parsons Ave. Julian Craft, a local business executive, is credited for securing the present site. He worked with the country from the very beginning to ensure all went right. His family financially supported ECHO in its early years.
In 2006, ECHO hired its second part-time employee, Eleanor Saunders, current executive director, to work the front desk.
The Client Welcome Center was created in 2012 in order to provide stability, rebuilding programs. This is when we began to apply for grants. Now we have eight streams of revenue, offer rebuilding programs five days a week and are open Monday-Friday from 8:30-12:30 and Tuesday evenings from 5:00pm – 7:00pm.
In September of 2018, gauging the need in our community, ECHO opened a second location to serve neighbors in Hillsborough County.
ECHO’s mission is to assist residents of Hillsborough County in crisis with emergency food and clothing, offering life stabilizing programs and resources.
% of your donation going to support programs95%95%
% going to administrative cost2%2%
% going to fundraising3%3%
Eleanor Saunders career has been exclusively in the non-profit sector. Her past employers have included: The Children’s Home, Junior Achievement and Bay Life Church.
Eleanor received a Bachelor of Arts degree from the Moody Bible Institute of Chicago. She has received certifications from the National Parents as Teachers Association, as well as Volunteer Management through the Points of Light Foundation. She is a recent graduate of 10,000 small business program through Goldman Sachs and Inner City Captial’s entrepreneur program.
Her community involvement in Brandon has included directing the Brandon Cold Weather Shelter, partnering with Family Promise, volunteering at I am Hope Cafe, as well a pioneering the creation of the Seeds of Faith Community Garden.
Eleanor has been recognized as a Hometown Hero by the Tampa Tribune (12-14) as well ad Fox 13 News (3-15)
She resides with her family in Brandon, Florida.
Our Board of Directors
Mark Gaudio: President
Lisa Tackus: Vice President
Larry Bowling: Treasurer
Anthony Taylor: Co-Secretary
Connie Huber: Co-Secretary
Tom Gallo: Board Member
Pamela Aris: Board Member
Brian Goodhead: Board Member
Olga Bolet: Board Member
Christine Peters: Board Member
Your Donations Make a HUGE Impact
Our Sponsors & Church Partners
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