ECCO Surpasses Campaign Goal, Raises $5 Million to Expand Reach
Campaign will expand current facilities, provide transportation solutions, and mobilize select programs into neighboring communities.
Mount Pleasant, SC (September 1, 2022) – East Cooper Community Outreach (ECCO) today announced that it has exceeded the fundraising goal for its multi-million-dollar capital campaign—Beyond Our Walls: The Campaign to Expand Our Reach.
As of August 31, nearly 200 individual donors, churches, foundations, and businesses have pledged or contributed more than $5.1 million in support of the campaign that will renovate and expand its current facility, establish community partnerships and a mobile office focused on reaching more remote communities within its service area, and add a new fleet of vehicles to provide transportation solutions.
Beyond Our Walls
In Fall 2021, ECCO launched the Beyond Our Walls campaign with an initial goal of $4 million. Residents from Mount Pleasant, Charleston, and across the Lowcountry responded to the call immediately—so quickly that ECCO’s Board of Directors raised the goal to $5 million in May 2022. ECCO announced the campaign’s public phase back in July with more than $4.6 million already committed. Since that announcement, $500,000 in gifts have come in from the community to help push the campaign past the goal.
“I cannot begin to share how grateful I am for this day and this accomplishment,” shared Stephanie Kelley, Executive Director for ECCO. “I’m grateful for the campaign committee and volunteers who stepped forward to help ensure the campaign’s success; for our team of staff and volunteers who live out our mission and vision each and every day; and for our neighbors in East Cooper who give our work purpose and whose lives will forever be transformed because of this campaign. Mostly, at this moment, I’m so very grateful for the donors who saw the need and stepped boldly forward to answer the call. Their generosity is the reason we can celebrate this milestone today.”
A Historical Moment
Giff and Lisa Daughtridge, co-chairs of the campaign’s steering committee, expressed their excitement. “We’ve been a part of ECCO for many years. This is the most ECCO has ever raised through a campaign in its 33-year history,” shared Giff. “When we think about the work ECCO does and the impact it has on the lives of our neighbors, we’re very excited about what the campaign means for ECCO’s future and the future of those it serves.”
Led by a committee of volunteers, the campaign is co-chaired by the Daughtridges along with Mike and Carolyn Burson. Other committee members include Dawn Baker, Jackie Berlinsky, Bob Handlos, Jen and Ted Pulsifer, Danny Rowland, Judy Wahl, Pat Walker, and Barry Wolff. The all-volunteer committee was supported by ECCO staff members Stephanie Kelley and Don Squires.
“When we started this effort last fall, we had a working goal of $4 million. It felt like a huge number,” says Carolyn Burson. “We felt confident we could get to $4 million but never imagined breaking the $5 million mark. To witness our community respond to our call for support has been both humbling and rewarding.”
Key Outcomes of the Campaign
A primary outcome of the campaign will be to renovate and expand ECCO’s current facilities on Six Mile Road in Mt. Pleasant. Repurposing existing space and adding nearly 3,000 additional square feet will allow ECCO to bring all of its core services and programs back under one roof. As its services have grown in support of a growing community, ECCO made the difficult decision in 2020 to locate its clothing program at an offsite location. Renovating the current facility will return the clothing closest to Six Mile Road, making it easier for clients to access.
The campaign will also allow ECCO to create a mobile office and staff who make regular visits to more remote communities, bringing ECCO’s life-changing services to those who cannot get to its Mt. Pleasant offices. This will include working to increase visibility through participation in farmer’s markets, health screenings, and community events; and establishing partnerships with churches and community centers to provide opportunities for residents to access many of ECCO’s core services, including food assistance through on-site pantry space and refrigerated food storage.
A final outcome of the campaign and a key component of ECCO’s outreach will be providing transportation solutions for many clients whose lack of reliable transportation makes it difficult to access needed services. ECCO plans to add a small fleet of ADA-compliant vans to help transport clients and patients to and from their medical and dental appointments at the Six Mile Road facility. They also plan to purchase a second refrigerated box truck to deliver food to clients unable to get to ECCO’s wellness pantry.
While officially past the goal, Mike Burson, campaign co-chair, and board president, shared that gifts can still be made in support of the campaign through September 30, 2022.
“While we’re grateful to have reached our goal, we encourage those that still want to support the campaign to do so,” shared Burson. “Every gift made in support of this campaign will help ECCO reach even further into our community and do even more good in support of our neighbors.”
To learn more about the Beyond Our Walls campaign, call Don Squires at 843-416-7123 or visit www.eccocharleston.org/beyondourwalls.
Don Squires, Director of Development & Marketing
Mobile Phone: (843) 254-8053
Office Phone: (843) 416-7123