Eolia Christian Community Outreach has received a $15,000 grant from EQT Charitable Foundation. The grant will help fund the group’s food pantry and enable ECCO to increase its support of the Appalachian Regional Hospital Health Department, Kentucky River Area District Area Agency on Aging, Letcher County Health Department’s Infant to Two-Year-Old Department, LKLP, and Shekinah Children’s Home.
ECCO was founded 20 years ago by Brenda Gross out of her country store as a way of putting her Christian faith into action. She saw needs in her community and wanted to do something to share with her neighbors. ECCO now has its own facility and many local volunteers who oper- ate its programs.
ECCO operates a food pantry for the Eolia area, and a thrift store, which is supplied by donations from churches and individuals. The ECCO facility includes a community room, kitchen, meeting rooms, dormitories, and a pavilion, and was built almost entirely with donated supplies, funds, and labor. It is available to the community and is used by several programs including Kids Time, Bible study, SWAP, Neighborhood Watch, and free classes such as aerobics and crafts.
ECCO also supports local agencies with materials and money when available. These include Arlie Boggs Elementary School and Family Resource Center, Letcher County Jail, Burn- Outs and Homeless Veterans Home, Oven Fork Senior Citizens Center, and Eolia Community Park.
EQT Production (Equitable Production) is a natural gas production company with operations in Letcher County. Through its charitable foundation, it has awarded a number of grants to non-profit organizations in Letcher County.