BRANDON – Stacey Efaw, the executive director of Emergency Care Help Organization , didn’t open a fortune cookie that promised prosperity in the New Year.
But she is grateful for a $2,600 donation from Wok Chi, the fresh casual Chinese restaurant in Regency Square in Brandon.
The ECHO Fundraiser ran last year from Nov. 1 through Dec. 31, with 5 percent of each stir-fry purchase set aside for ECHO.
“Wok Chi actually chose us,” Efaw said. “We feel very lucky to be the recipient of their fundraiser. The money raised will be used to purchase perishable food items such as meat, dairy and produce for our food pantry.”
Efaw said ECHO is currently serving about 12,000 people a year through their regular food pantry. They reach an additional 5,000 through holiday programs.
“The demand has really remained about the same for the last four years,” Efaw said. “We do get less requests for assistance after the holidays but we are still serving about 20 families a day. This fundraiser comes to us at a really good time as donations always drop off in the first quarter of the year.”
Efaw said people may assist ECHO, 507 N. Parsons Ave., Brandon, throughout the year by donating food, clothing, or household items. Their website, lists volunteer openings.
Officials with Wok Chi will present ECHO with the check on Jan. 23 at 10:45 a.m. at the restaurant, 2420 West Brandon Blvd. in Brandon. The check presentation is open to the public.
Rahul Chaubal, vice president of operations of Wok Chi, said the money was raised as a part of Wok Chi’s Green Tea Initiative.
“We are thrilled at the response of the Brandon community to our cause to support ECHO,” Chaubal said. “We know these funds are greatly needed, and we at Wok Chi are honored to help serve our community.”
For more information on Wok Chi, call (813) 315-9877.