Echo and Together We Rise partner to host Share the Warmth campaign for women in foster care.
On Wednesday night, Echo partnered with the charity organization Together We Rise for the 3rd annual Share the Warmth campaign, which benefits young women transferring out of the foster care system. The event was held at the Refinery Rooftop in New York City, equipped with appetizers, open bar and stunning Empire State Building views.
This event marked the second year that Echo has collaborated with Together We Rise for this campaign, but the power of this partnership is influential beyond their years. Between November 18th and December 24th, each hat, scarf or pair of gloves purchased at echodesign.com will donate a similar winter weather clothing item to Together We Rise. From there, Together We Rise will distribute the accessories to foster homes across America. Their goal is to keep young women warm during the brutal winter seasons and to let foster kids around the country know that they are part of something bigger than themselves.
Echo, established in 1923, is a powerhouse for original and exquisitely designed home products and accessories. Being that Echo has been a family run business for over 90 years, their involvement in the Share the Warmth campaign is driven by how valuable family and partnership has been to their company.
“Our goal is to make these foster girl’s lives a little bit more comfortable. Our products do, in essence, provide warmth and keep them cozy,” said a representative from Echo. “These girl’s stories are unbelievable. One of them has been in 45 homes. You really can’t imagine how resilient these kids are.”
Based out of Los Angeles, Together We Rise is a non-profit organization started by motivated college students with a shared vision to improve the lives of foster children. By showing them that they have a family outside of their foster homes, the organization aims to recreate what family means to foster kids across the country. Danny Mendoza, the official founder of TWR, says his inspiration for the non-profit was born when he realized that his 9-year-old cousin was living out of a car after his parent’s divorce. His cousin was eventually put into foster care, and that’s when Mendoza discovered how grim the process truly is.
What drives and motivates you to spread the mission of TWR?
“I wanted to see how I could help my cousin, so I advocated for him to go into foster care. But, that’s kind of when we found out how bad foster care was. We got online and saw all the statistics, and we knew that if we could help my cousin, if we could help him then we could help so many other people.”
What statistic has stuck with you the most?
“80% of prison population was in foster care. And we were just like, whoa, nobody knows that? It just didn’t make sense to me why people didn’t know about it. We live in the greatest country in the world, right, and the government raises our kids, so if they’re failures it’s the government’s fault. So we wanted to see if we could bring some attention to that.”
What is the most rewarding part of your job at TWR?
“Its just something so simple. A lot of people think they have to give something huge in order to make a difference, but if a company already has a product and it’s easy for them to give children in foster care, that’s awesome. I mean, the care packages are more than just a care package. It’s so much more than that. For them to just get something in the mail, knowing that someone believes in you and cares about you is special. Most kids I’ve met don’t care about the money, they care about support; that they have someone to look up to and ask for advice. We tell them that they have a safety net now, you don’t have to take our advice but when anything hits the fan were there for you.”
What sets you apart from other non-profits in the same niche?
“We have something we call the Family Fellowship. They spend Christmas together, the summer together, we provide them with mentors, we text them twice a week, just to nag them and show them that people care about them. It’s a game changer for us, but to be able to implement companies on a small scale with what they already do- it just makes sense to us.”
For every cold weather item purchased on their site from 11/18 through 12/24, Echo will donate a comparable item to foster teens. This year’s proceeds will benefit the “I’m Aging Out” program of foster care organization Together We Rise. In addition to products purchased on their site, Echo donated a cold weather care package (hat, gloves & scarf) on behalf of every attendee at Wednesday’s party.