ECCO Launches $5 Million Capital Campaign to Expand Reach
Campaign will expand current facilities, provide transportation solutions, and mobilize select programs into neighboring communities.
Mount Pleasant, SC (July 13, 2022) – East Cooper Community Outreach (ECCO) today announced exciting plans to expand its reach and serve more people living in East Cooper communities. Community members and supporters have already invested more than $4.6 million towards ECCO’s $5 million capital campaign Beyond Our Walls, The Campaign to Expand Our Reach.
Included in ECCO’s transformative plans are the renovation and expansion of its current facility, a mobile office focused on reaching more remote communities within its service area, and a new fleet of vehicles to provide transportation solutions.
Beyond Our Walls
Last fall, ECCO launched a $4 million Beyond Our Walls campaign to fund priorities focused on serving more neighbors through facility renovations, mobilization, and transportation. 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. To date, more than $4.6 million has been raised from private citizens, churches, corporations, and foundations.
“The more successful the campaign is, the more we can do to help our neighbors in their time of need,” said Danny Rowland, immediate past-chair of the ECCO Board of Directors and a member of the campaign’s all-volunteer steering committee. “I can’t begin to say how humbled we are and excited by the campaign’s success,” said Rowland. “The $4.6 million already raised is more than ECCO has ever raised in its 33-year history!”
Reuniting All Services Under One Roof
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.
“When ECCO first opened its doors on Six Mile Road, we were on the outskirts of town,” stated Stephanie Kelley, ECCO Executive Director. “Today, we’re in the middle of one of the fastest growing areas in the Lowcountry. As we’ve had to ramp up our services to support our growing community, we’ve had to make the very difficult decision to locate our clothing program at an offsite location.” Kelley stated that renovating the current facility and reuniting all programs in one building will make it easier for clients to access services while enabling staff and volunteers, who often shuttle between sites daily, to work more efficiently and collaborate more often.
Focusing on the “O” in ECCO
ECCO’s primary service area covers nearly 2,000 square miles from the base of the Ravenel Bridge north to the Georgetown County line and west to Highway 52 in Berkeley County. It includes larger communities such as Mount Pleasant, Awendaw, and Daniel Island, along with smaller communities such as McClellanville, Cordesville, Jamestown, Huger, and Schulerville.
Today, a growing number of ECCO’s clients now live in East Cooper’s outlying communities. ECCO plans to create a mobile office and staff who make regular visits to these rural communities, bringing ECCO’s life-changing services to those who cannot get to its Mt. Pleasant offices.
ECCO will also work to increase visibility through participation in farmers’ markets, health screenings, and community events. It will establish 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.
“For all the wealth there is in the Lowcountry, there are still so many people who face barrier after barrier to success,” said Mike Burson, who, with his wife Carolyn, serve as co-chairs for the campaign. “One of those barriers is access to reliable transportation. For all the good that ECCO does, it doesn’t mean anything for the person or family that can’t get to it. I’m most excited that this campaign will allow ECCO to meet people where they are—to go to them.”
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.
The Bursons shared that ECCO hopes to raise the campaign’s remaining $350,000 before the end of the summer, in time to celebrate the 33rd anniversary of Hurricane Hugo’s landfall in Charleston.
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