Count on me

  • Sunday, March 23, 2014

The song, “Count on Me” by Bruno Mars is a great description of how our East Cooper community reaches out to help our friends in need:

“If you ever find yourself stuck in the middle of the sea / I'll sail the world to find you / If you ever find yourself lost in the dark and you can't see / I'll be the light to guide you / Find out what we're made of / When we are called to help our friends in need.”

Everyone has difficult times in life. We find ourselves stuck between a rock and a hard place, as Bruno Mars says, “in the middle of the sea.” For almost 25 years, the East Cooper community has given a hand to the less fortunate.

East Cooper Community Outreach (ECCO) has been there when people have found themselves in hopeless situations. Many of our clients live in a crisis mode every day. They find themselves lost in the darkness every day. When income is limited, choices are made between buying food, medicine, gas and paying for an extracurricular activity for their child. The choices made leave voids in other areas.

ECCO's mission is to help people in their crisis and then stay by their side in helping them achieve a better life. Basic needs like food and clothing or prescription assistance may be our first act in casting a lifesaver while they are stuck in the middle of the sea.

Our next step is to shine the light that guides them on their journey to improve their life. Financial literacy, GED, even helping them find a job or a better job can be where they may be navigated. ECCO continues to stay by their side by coaching them to keep their job for a year.

Accomplishing this can lead them to a life of self-sufficiency, free of any government assistance.

ECCO provides an effective vehicle for our community to help our friends in need.

The 2014 Golf Ball is our two-day annual fundraiser at the Daniel Island Club – a golf tournament on Tuesday, April 22 and gala on Thursday, April 24. Seventy percent of our funding comes through our local community.

The remainder of our revenue comes from private grants and foundations. This is why our annual fundraiser is so important.

Last year's event supported us to the tune of more than $170,000 which makes up about 12 percent of our budget.

This is how friends help friends in need. Individuals and businesses sponsor participate and the funds raised provide the services that act as a lifesaver for those stuck in the middle of the sea and as the guiding light to help them stand on their own. As Bruno Mars says:

“You can count on me like one, two, three, I'll be there / And I know when I need it / I can count on you like four, three, two, and you'll be there / 'Cause that's what friends are supposed to do.”

It's just what friends do!

Jack Little is executive director of East Cooper Community Outreach.

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