Paso Robles News|Wednesday, October 23, 2019
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ECHO receives 5k donation from Must! Charities Youth Board 

must charities youth board–The El Camino Homeless Organization has received a gift of $5,000 from the Must! Charities Youth Board. Must! Charities invests strategically with existing non-profits, funding organizations who are the most effective at dealing with our greatest community needs.

Must! Charities’ Youth Board is a group of students from Templeton, Atascadero and Paso Robles high schools who are making a positive difference through collaboration and dedication to make changes that are wanted and needed to benefit the community as a whole. Students involved have volunteered to serve a minimum of a year term (September through May) and are locally known leaders on their campus. They have displayed a willingness to serve and make a difference for those less fortunate in our community.

The student board members volunteer their time serving and learning about community needs and the non-profits who serve those needs. At the end of the school year after many months of conversations, volunteering, observing, meetings and touring they go through a selection process called “vetting.” Through this process, the students selected ECHO to be a recipient of a $5,000 donation.

“Looking back on the hours these teens put into this year’s youth board, on top of their already hectic schedules is inspiring. Listening to them talk about the year, what the youth board does, why they got involved, and the process they went through to figure out who they were going to give to at the end of the 9 months…  was priceless,” stated Becky Gray, Executive Director of must! charities. “These youth are inspiring to be around and are quite curious as to the way the world works. They were eager to learn and fully grasped the concept of the power of collective giving with a strategic focus.”

“We are very thankful to must! charities Youth Board for selecting ECHO,” said Wendy Lewis, President/CEO, “It is wonderful to see our youth getting involved in the community and learning the power of giving back. Their donation will provide more services to those in need and will move us forward in our mission to empower people in San Luis Obispo County to make positive change by providing food, shelter and supportive services.”

Applications for the 2019/20 youth board can be found at

ECHO operates a safe and secure overnight 50 bed shelter to meet the immediate needs of families and individuals who have become homeless. With a unique residency program, clients are provided case management services to assist them in securing a job and finding permanent and sustainable housing within three months of entering the shelter program. While enrolled in the program, clients are taught life skills for employment, budgeting, health care management and social communication and interaction. The goal and the result of this practical support is the empowerment of residents to move in a positive direction while assisting them in acquiring the skills and services they need to become self-sustaining, including secure housing.

A force of 500 community volunteers provide ancillary support to run the shelter program and the meal program that serves as many as 80 dinners each night to shelter residents and the homeless population. ECHO also operates a shower program that provides hot showers three nights a week to anyone in need. ECHO supplies the homeless population all the necessary toiletries and offers access to clothing, shoes, blankets and sleeping bags.

For more information, visit

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About the author: News Staff

News staff of the Paso Robles Daily News wrote and edited this story from local contributors and press releases. Scott Brennan is the publisher of this newspaper and founder of Access Publishing. Connect with him on Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, or follow his blog. He can be reached at