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Which Lucky Child? Epco answers June 22, 2008

Posted by The Typist in New Orleans, NOLA, Toulouse Street, We Are Not OK.
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David from Epco left this long comment on my earlier post Which Lucky Child, and in fairness I’m giving him his own rebuttal post. It’s probably not fair to get to far into a back-and-forth in a rebuttal. I’m still angry at the concept. Every child deserves a house. However, there is a difference between a bad choice of phrase and bad intent, and I don’t think Epco’s intent is bad. I was struck by his remarks about dishonest contractors, a story we have all heard time and again. Thanks, David, for taking the time to reply.

I want to introduce myself. I am David one of the owners of Epco. In fact I am president of general construction. First I would like to say this is a project that is very near and dear to our hearts. We have completed over 400 projects and have more work then we know what to do with. The essay contest and helping families is our hobby. We have been blessed so from our point of view we are obligated to give back.

I believe all of the children deserve a home but we can’t do it all by ourselves. So we create a spark. We at Epco will find it very difficult to pick only one. In fact we will be using the letters to show what these kids think and feel by way of an essay. And I believe we can do more and recruit companies help with this endeavor.

I will share what we have noticed by way of the essays. Most of the letters “around 70%” describe a contractor running out on them and their families with large amounts of money and without a completed home. I could not believe that there were so many contractors hurting these families. When we announce the winner we also shed light on some bad contractors. And just maybe we can get the attention of some people and originations that might be willing to help.

I propose this question. Is it worst to have an essay contest to build not only a home but help restore the quality of life or even restore a little faith in humanity. Or by reading most of your comments you would prefer Epco not give back because the children can’t handle not winning a contest. You are hurting the kids with your closed minded thinking.

Let me clue you in on a few things about these children. These kids have been through so much and they don’t need anymore false hope. Epco can provide for one child and their family. This is the way we make a difference with no apologies. After reading the some of the letters I believe the children are stronger then we give them credit for. I would hope responsible adults would take the time to find out about company that has only good intensions and maybe get on board. Don’t promote the company promote the idea.


1. gregp - June 22, 2008

I for one would prefer that Epco give back without telling children that they do or do not “deserve” a new home. It’s not losing a contest: it’s getting a massage that they lost because they didn’t deserve it.


2. Maitri - June 22, 2008

No matter how much or well the essays speak of bad contractors, no child should be made to feel bad that they didn’t win their family a house because of a “losing” essay. I’d like to see Epco give back without commissioning a set of essays that detract other contractors and thus promote Epco over those contractors. Furthermore, pay all of those kids in kind for indirectly advertising your product.


3. david - June 23, 2008

it never was about finding bad contractors. in fact we were very suprised at this discovery. granted we can only pick one for now because we only have 100,000. What if we can do more?
i am hopeful that we can generate enough interest and with a little luck maybe we can do more. if i had the resources i would help them all.
i am surpirsied that no one has asked how many essay’s did we recieved? the number is around 300 or so and in many cases they do not need 100,000 to finish their home. maybe in some cases it might only take 20,000 more or less to finish noncompleted work. we don’t know exactly. if we didn’t have the essay contest we wouldn’t even have an oppertunity to help. one thing i can tell everyone is that we are thinking of all of them and if we can find a way to do more. i promise you we will.


4. Karen - June 23, 2008


I applaud your willingness to seed an idea.

When my daughter and her friends came home from school one day I asked them what they thought. They had been given the information at school.

They all felt levels of discomfort with the fact that they were fortunate enough to attend Ben Franklin High, and that the fact that they were there meant that they had resources that others did not have.

I will restate what I have said before, every child deserves a home..we all agree, but no child should feel the burden of providing that home.

I work with an attorney who works on behalf of homeowners who have been shafted by the Road Home, she told a story of one home owner who was working on his home suffered an accident on site and lost his leg. There are other ways to help homeowners who have been treated so poorly other than using children as part of the campaign.

My house flooded, we were screwed by Insurance and the Road Home, our downstairs is unfinished but above all I would feel a total failure as a parent if my husband and I had to depend on our child to get us out of this rut.


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