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Empty Bowls fundraiser brings in over $40k 

Empty bowls Atascadero–The Empty Bowls fundraiser for El Camino Homeless Organization held on April 25 raised more than $40,000 for the organization. Now in its 4th year, 600 people attended the annual April event at Atascadero Bible Church.

Empty Bowls is an international project to fight hunger-related problems throughout the world. ECHO will benefit from 100-percent of the proceeds to use towards its housing and meal programs. Many local potters make and donate ceramic soup bowls. For $25 each, guests choose a hand-crafted bowl and sample soups donated by 20 local restaurants and bakeries and served by local celebrities. Guests take home their beautiful pottery bowl as a reminder of all the “empty bowls” in the world.

During the event, Assemblyman Jordan Cunningham (R-San Luis Obispo) announced that El Camino Homeless Organization (ECHO) of Atascadero has been named the Assembly District 35 Non-Profit of the Month for April.

“ECHO is providing a great service to some of our community’s most vulnerable residents,” said Assemblyman Cunningham. “Not only are they providing a place to stay for families experiencing homelessness, but they are also helping individuals resolve core issues for their homelessness, develop plans to get a home, update their résumés, and search for job openings.”

“The Empty Bowls event is an annual opportunity for those of us who eat without worry to reach out to our neighbors for whom a meal may be a luxury,” says Wendy Lewis, President/CEO, “In 2018 ECHO served 52,934 meals and helped 112 people find secure housing facing hunger and homelessness in SLO County. We thank all those that participated in the event and supported us in our mission to end homelessness in our community.”

Restaurants & bakeries:

  • Catering by Chef Charlie
  • The Restaurant at Justin Vineyards
  • Dan’s Grub Shack
  • Il Cortile
  • Guest House Grill
  • Atascadero Cafe
  • Streetside Ale House
  • McPhee’s Grill
  • Pedro’s Mexican Restaurant
  • Trumpet Vine Catering
  • Outlaws Bar & Grill
  • The Wellness Kitchen
  • Hofbrau Morro Bay
  • Dan Cook
  • Giovanni’s Fish Market & Galley
  • Back Porch Bakery
  • Odyssey World Café
  • Brian’s Bread
  • The Full Belly Deli
  • Ron Helgerson


Celebrity servers:

  • Steve Martin, Mayor, City of Paso Robles
  • Debbie Arnold, Supervisor, San Luis Obispo County
  • Jerel Haley, Police Chief, City of Atascadero
  • Vicky Janssen, Legislative Assistant, First District Supervisor John Peschong
  • Jeannie Malik, Marketing Manager, Greg Malik Real Estate Group
  • Diane McCluskey, Chief Human Resources Officer, Twin Cities Community Hospital
  • Mark Lisa, Chief Executive Officer,
  • Sierra Vista Regional Medical Center & Twin Cities Community Hospital
  • Jeff Buckingham, Chief Customer Officer, Digital West
  • Steve Gregory, Council Member, City of Paso Robles
  • Cara Crye, President/CEO, Farm Supply
  • Barbie Butz, Press/Community Volunteer
  • JoJo Lopez, DJ, Dimes Media
  • Heather Newsom, Council Member, City of Atascadero
  • Rachelle Rickard, City Manager, City of Atascadero
  • Mike & Charlotte Bryne, Founders, ECHO
  • Adam Hill, Supervisor, San Luis Obispo County
  • Emily Reneau, President/CEO, Atascadero Chamber of Commerce
  • Michael Keleman, Chief Strategy Officer,
  • Sierra Vista Regional Medical Center & Twin Cities Community Hospital
  • Sheriff Ian Parkinson, SLO County
  • Davinia Palmer, Dimes Media



  • Brezden Pest Control
  • Doug & Kathy Howard
  • Atascadero 76
  • Central Coast Printing
  • KSBY
  • Andros Engineering
  • Dimes Media
  • County of SLO
  • Justin Vineyards & Winery
  • The Tribune
  • Twin Cities Community Hospital
  • Pacific Premier Bank
  • SCI Construction
  • ABC Church
  • Gerber’s Auto Services
  • Digital West
  • Rabobank
  • Twin Cities Surveying
  • BHE Renewables
  • Eric Gobler Civil Engineering


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, residents 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. While enrolled in the program, residents learn life skills for employment, budgeting, healthier habits and more. 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 stable housing.

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