Because of the community’s ongoing support over the past 14 months, ECCO has continued to provide unprecedented levels of help and hope to our neighbors in their time of need — many of whom never imagined needing to turn to a place like ECCO for assistance. How fortunate we are to live in an area where people who are facing life’s challenges can easily find essential services and caring support.
COVID-19 has proved to be a defining moment in ECCO’s 31-year history. Just as the winds of Hurricane Hugo blew off the blinders allowing the community to see the level of poverty that existed East of the Cooper in 1989; the shock created by the pandemic has jolted many of us into seeing how truly vulnerable we all are to circumstances and challenges beyond our control. Challenges like divorce, a terminal illness, the death of a breadwinner, loss of housing, a lack of insurance, addictions, domestic violence, and job loss all created financial hardships for our clients before the pandemic. These challenges have now been coupled with staggering levels of unemployment, downsizing, furloughs, and virtual learning making ECCO an even more relevant resource in the community.
As ECCO has pivoted to deal with this global crisis and remain responsive to the increased needs of our neighbors impacted by the pandemic, we have also been looking to the future. The 2021 – 2024 Strategic Plan has been finalized and along with it, a new website is being built complete with a revised vision and mission statement. I am thrilled to share these revised statements with you before the new website launches next month. The vision and mission statements have been crafted to speak to the organization’s goal to be inclusive and equitable, honoring the individuality of those we serve.
Vision Statement: A community where all people can discover a path to opportunity.
Mission Statement: We provide assistance, guidance, and resources to help our neighbors navigate through life’s challenges.
Our vision is an aspirational state of being that we are aiming to achieve. Our mission is what we do to reach that vision.
As you read over ECCO’s revised statements, I hope you noticed the link between the two. As we meet our clients where they are and help them navigate through life’s challenges, we are walking with them to discover a path to opportunity. How we do this is through our framework of providing assistance, guidance, and resources that inspire our clients to continue moving forward toward achieving their personal goals. Go to our website, to read a full breakdown of both our revised vision and mission statements and how our essential services fit into this new framework.
Please be watching for updates about the launch of our new website this month. We are confident it will be a helpful resource to both those who need help and those who want to help. I also believe the new layout does a wonderful job bringing to life our vision, mission, and values while speaking to the heart of ECCO’s ongoing impact: neighbors helping neighbors.
Stephanie Kelley is the executive director for East Cooper Community Outreach.