Bay Area charity provides relief for those struggling to make ends meet

A Bay Area organization that feeds and clothes the needy also connects clients with social service agencies to get them back on their feet. 

Stephen Morey is thankful for "ECHO," the Emergency Care Help Organization.  

"This is my first time here," said Morey. "The staff is amazing. Didn't expect the help this quick. Like they literally got on the ball and it's actually a nice place."  

Morey and others come here for free food and clothing they otherwise cannot afford. 

"We traveled from Maine to come look for work that hasn't panned out," Morey explained. 

ECHO provides free clothes and food to people in need.

ECHO provides free clothes and food to people in need. 

Last year it served more than 16,000 people. Eight thousand received help in the first quarter of this fiscal year. 

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"The need has been enormous with rise in food costs, with the rise of cost of living, the rises in rents. It's just been really challenging for a lot of our community members," Eleanor Saunders, executive director of Echo said. 

Its mission is simple — collecting food and clothing donations from the Bay Area community to hand out to those in need. 

"We're just neighbors helping neighbors and that's truly what happens here on a daily basis," said Saunders. "It takes neighbors supporting the work and neighbors receiving the help. So it's beautiful, like marriage." 

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Joy Sanderson-Vernon has volunteered at the non-profit for 20 years. 

ECHO also connects clients with social service organizations to help them get back on their feet.

ECHO also connects clients with social service organizations to help them get back on their feet. 

"It's really important when you have a good and comfortable life," shared Sanderson-Vernon. "It's important to help those who are less fortunate than you are." 

To help families become stable and find success, ECHO reorganized by connecting clients with other social services agencies. 

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"In the last about year and a half, 283 individuals have found meaningful employment. And when we say meaningful, it's not just a part-time job at like a fast food restaurant. This is work that can actually pay their bills and support their families with," Saunders said. 

In the last year and a half, ECHO helped more than 200 people find meaningful employment. 

For Morey and other clients, the service is a lifeline that they truly appreciate. 

Echo's Brandon location has been around for more than 20 years. It also opened a Riverview location.

LINK: Click here to learn more about ECHO.