Why Must: Thacher Winery

Boys and Girls Club Success Story: Tommy

The Boys & Girls Club provides educational support, dropout prevention, and guidance. They are a safe place to learn and grow – all while having fun.  As must! charities inaugural project, we have maintained a presence with their club for the last six years and continue to be inspired by their successes.

There are children in our community that without the Boys and Girls Club, would have no place to go after school. Kids like Tommy, who first entered the club at aged 5.  Tommy was aggressive and also would cry inconsolably at what seemed to be pent up anger and stress.

Despite this, the staff saw a kind-hearted child who complimented peers and was gentle with the younger members. Together with his mother and Tommy, the club worked to find solutions to his outbursts and address his rejection of club rules.

Over time, Tommy began to recognize when he was getting angry and now comes into the club’s office before an outburst. The club’s cooperation with his family and Tommy’s willingness to address his unhealthy instincts has created daily progress and milestones.

He has stronger connections with same-aged peers, follows the rules more consistently and feels better about his place at the club.

Tommy is a prime examples of what the Boys and Girls Club strives to do. Support, engage, improve and impact children’s lives.

ECHO Success Story: John and Megan

ECHO, El Camino Homeless Organization is a transitional shelter in Northern San Luis Obispo County that is helping families and individuals find permanent housing. In 2017, must! charities partnered with ECHO in an ambitious $500,000 project. As a three-month program, ECHO is for people who are ready to make a change in their lives. People like John and his daughter Megan.

John moved into ECHO with his daughter after a long period of homelessness, arriving with only the clothes they had on their backs. He was discouraged and exhausted, after months of not being able to pay bills or maintain steady employment.

Working with an ECHO case manager, John identified his goals as finding a steady job and home. He wanted Megan to feel safe and secure. ECHO connected John with job resources and communication skills training. Within a few weeks he was hired as a mechanic at a local auto shop. With financial management coaching, just two months later, he saved enough money to buy a vehicle. A month later, he found housing through a connection at his place of employment.

Today John has a stable job he enjoys and Megan is attending school with all of the supplies she needs to learn. Both are enjoying their new home.

Upon moving out John said, “I was able to meet these goals by taking the tools and support provided by ECHO staff and that gave me the confidence to do what I needed to do. Staff treated me like family and whenever I went to my case managers with a problem they provided support and helpful resources. They truly want everyone to succeed and I felt very supported.”

This is just one example of lives positively affected by ECHO.


General Store: Why must! charities

While stopping in for a visit on Must! Monday, we had a chat with the ladies at the General Store.  We are so grateful for partners like them, who give from the heart.