In our blog post from December 2014 we gave you an inside look at our corporate philosophy of giving back to help build a strong community. Here at Evolve we not only donate 5% of corporate profits to various organizations but our entire team works at giving back throughout the year.
Our co-founder Don Raleigh leads by example through his work on the board of directors at the local non-profit organization ECHO Minnesota . We recently caught up with Don to find out more about why he believes this work and his involvement is so important.
ECHO Minnesota is a leader in multi-language health, safety, civic engagement and emergency readiness communication bridging the gap for immigrants and refugees in Minnesota. Through close collaborations with health and safety experts, bilingual community leaders and talented spokespersons, ECHO crafts high quality programming for television and radio broadcast and phone, print, web, DVD and partner relay distribution.
What compelled you to get involved with ECHO?
Don: “As a linguist and a person who has lived in foreign countries I appreciate the challenges that come with living in a country where you do not speak the language. As an Emergency Services Officer in the United States Air Force Auxiliary, Civil Air Patrol, I am aware of additional challenges that come with responding to and reacting to a disaster. The mission of ECHO is to collaborate with diverse communities to deliver programs and services that help people be healthy, contribute, and succeed. This mission to help some of our most vulnerable citizens is very compelling for me.”
What are ECHO’s strengths?
Don: “The greatest strength is the depth of integration we have in the various highly diverse communities in Minnesota. Our ability to work directly with LEP (Low English Proficiency) communities is further strengthened by our ambassador program that has over 60 members working directly in each community.“
How does ECHO add value to the community?
Don: “ECHO works to improve the lives of immigrants by focusing on reducing disparities in health care for immigrant and refugee communities. These people often experience higher rates of poor health and overall shorter life spans. ECHO promotes preventive care by raising awareness of serious diseases and increases access to life-saving emergency information by facilitating efficient mass-media messaging in multiple languages. I believe strongly in ECHO’s work to facilitate the transition to life in Minnesota for immigrants and refugees helping new Americans integrate successfully into our communities.”
What makes you passionate about your involvement with ECHO?
Don: “I am passionate about serving our communities beyond just words. ECHO’s mission is one that is both relevant as well as impactful. One of the basic tenants of being part of a community that supports each other is helping the most vulnerable among us to be safe. That is the role of ECHO and I am excited to be there as an active member.”
What is your most memorable experience with the organization to date?
Don: “The Hmong Town Market here in Minnesota was shut down due to a cultural misunderstanding. ECHO was able to work with law enforcement and the courts to come to a reasonable and mutually acceptable solution by developing a multilingual education program that would help prevent future issues. This was an amazing outcome that would have been far different if not for the intervention and help of ECHO. It makes us incredibly proud.”