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Brandon News

ECHO, YMCA team up to provide backpacks, school supplies


Published:   |   Updated: July 31, 2014 at 10:33 AM

It’s already time for back-to-school shopping — for some families, a financially stressful time.

Stacey Efaw of Brandon, the executive director of Emergency Care Help Organization (ECHO), said her organization is partnering with Brandon-area YMCAs to provide backpacks and school supplies to those in need.

The YMCA’s Camp Cristina will be hosting a back-to-school outreach event to distribute the school supplies while also ushering in the new school year with fun and festivites.

“We are pleased to partner with the Y on this event because it allows ECHO to help more students get the backpacks and age-appropriate school supplies that they need,” Efaw said. “This year, we hope to help 1,500 students, but we cannot do it alone. We need the community to support this event by donating new backpacks.”

The YMCA Backpack Outreach Event will take place at YMCA’s Camp Cristina, 9840 Balm Riverview Road, Riverview, on Aug. 9 from 9 a.m. to noon.

Highlights of the event include dance performances, games, activities, snacks and a “wood workshop for kids” demonstration. Children who have registered in advance will receive free access to child haircuts, blood pressure screenings, dental and vision checkups, seat belt safety, scoliosis screenings and pedestrian safety tips.

Efaw said this is the fourth year ECHO has partnered with the YMCA, although ECHO has helped their clients with back-to-school supplies for many years.

Qualified families may register by emailing Kavita .Marballi@tampaymca.org or calling (813) 684-1371.

People who wish to help may either bring the backpacks and supplies to ECHO or the Campo YMCA off Bloomingdale Avenue. They can also make a donation on ECHO’s website at www .echofl.org.

For additional information, call ECHO at (813) 685-0935.

Lcone@tampatrib.com

(813) 731-2008

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