ATASCADERO, Calif. - The first North County Turkey Trot raised $30,000 for El Camino Homeless Organization (ECHO) on Thanksgiving Day.
ECHO said 250 people showed up at Atascadero Lake Park for this community fun run/walk - many wearing their best turkey costumes.
According to Runner's World, more than 1,000 Turkey Trots take place in cities across the nation.
“We felt it was a good fit to create a North County Turkey Trot,” said Wendy Lewis, President and CEO of ECHO. “It’s a fun way to do something healthy and enjoy the company of friends and family while giving back to the community.”
ECHO said one family was so moved by the community's support that they matched the fundraising efforts of all those involved.
Lori Bickel of the B Loved Foundation said, “We were totally blown away by the Thanksgiving spirit of the day. As ECHO supporters it completely touched our hearts to see a simple Turkey Trot on a cold and wet morning bring so many people together. We wanted the ECHO volunteers and supporters to feel the love because they ARE transforming lives.”
ECHO said it will be receiving 100% of the proceeds from the Turkey Trot and will be putting the money towards its housing and meal programs.
“This year to date, ECHO has served 50,000 meals and helped over 100 people find secure housing facing hunger and homelessness in SLO County. We thank all those that participated in the event and supported us in our mission to end homelessness in our community," said Lewis.
ECHO operates a safe and secure 50-bed overnight shelter to meet the needs of families and individuals who become homeless.
The organization works to help residents secure jobs and find permanent, sustainable housing within 3 months of entering the shelter.
For more information and ways to donate to ECHO, visit their website here.