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Cal Poly Center for Service in Action Receives National Make a Difference Day Award

May 1, 2017

SAN LUIS OBISPO – Cal Poly’s Center for Service in Action recently received a 2017 Make a Difference Day national award and, in turn, selected El Camino Homeless Organization (ECHO) in Atascadero as the recipient of a $10,000 award donation.

Tegna Inc., announced the winners and provided the donation along with its partner, Arby’s Foundation. Cal Poly was one of 14 organizations nationwide to receive the award.

“I am honored that our Center for Service in Action has been recognized for its positive work in our community,” said Jason Mockford, director of Leadership and Service at Cal Poly. “I am even more pleased that this recognition will benefit ECHO, a tremendous community partner with an amazing staff dedicated to helping solve homelessness in San Luis Obispo County.”

ECHO is a 50-bed shelter that assists individuals and families struggling with homelessness to transition into permanent housing. The center provides case management and prepares up to 80 meals each night forhomeless individuals and families.

“We are so excited and honored to have Cal Poly gift this award to ECHO,” said Aurora William, executive director at ECHO. “This gift will have a huge impact in the lives of our youth who suffer from homelessness. As of today, we have 16 kids in the shelter. These funds will make it possible for us to invest in enrichment programs that will benefit their lives far beyond what we could’ve hoped for.”

The shelter participated in Cal Poly’s 2016 Make a Difference Day, the national day of community service, along with more than 20 other local organizations throughout San Luis County. Organized in partnership with United Way of San Luis Obispo County, Cal Poly enlisted the help of 800 community volunteers who collectively contributed 3,200 hours of service work for the event Oct. 22, 2016.

“This award would not be possible without the hundreds of students, faculty, staff and participating community members who volunteer to help others in need each year for Make a Difference Day,” said Bradley Kyker, senior coordinator for the Center for Service in Action. “I am so thankful to Make a Difference Day and Tegna for recognizing these efforts and for assisting ECHO with this generous donation.”

About the Center for Service in Action

The Center for Service in Action at Cal Poly connects students with meaningful volunteer opportunities that complement their educational experience, strengthen their understanding of diversity and social responsibility, and help them develop skills to become ethical and knowledgeable leaders who contribute to a global society. The center cultivates reciprocal service and learning partnerships between the universityand community partners and serves community-based organizations and governmental institutions seeking university support to address unmet community needs.

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