Throughout the region, the need for immediate safety-net and emergency services continues to grow as the impact of COVID-19 is felt across multiple Northern Virginia neighborhoods and communities.
For many local families and individuals, already struggling to keep a roof over their heads, feed their children, and access quality medical care, this pandemic only exacerbates their daily fears of homelessness and poverty.
In direct response, Scott Plank, impact investor and philanthropist, and his family stepped up to help address our community’s most pressing needs. At a recent employee gathering at the Reston National Golf Course, Plank celebrated their $20,000 donation to Cornerstones, a leading human service anchor organization, from June 2020, made on behalf of the JS Plank and DM DiCarlo Family.
The presentation kicked off the golf course’s latest employee community service day. The staff helped assemble critically needed PPE kits for distribution through Cornerstones’ upcoming Thanksgiving Food and Gifts for Kids seasonal drives and community food distribution events. Masks and face shields for the PPE kits were generously donated by Bank of America, Ford Motor Company, and In2Green.
In addition, the Plank Family Foundation hosted a summertime “Stuff the Bus Campaign” at the golf course to encourage donations to our Back-to-School backpack / PPE drive and financial gifts from Reston National Golf Club members. Campaign donations supported Cornerstones’ August distribution of 1100 PPE kits, almost 900 boxes of produce, and 1000 gift cards for groceries or gas (valued at over $25,000) donated by golfers and community members more than matched the Planks donation.
The summer campaign helped support 844 local households. The Foundation also underwrote paid internships for two local students who benefited from Cornerstones youth programs and community services. One intern worked in the community and another at the Golf Course.
“For 50 years, Cornerstones has worked with valuable community advocates, like Scott Plank and his family, to empower people living in crisis today with resources to rebuild their stability and resiliency for living healthy, connected lives,” offers Kerrie Wilson, CEO of Cornerstones. “While this region has always rallied together to overcome emergency situations – we know how emotionally, physically, and financially devastating this pandemic is on our most vulnerable neighbors. In the last quarter of our fiscal year (FY20) alone, more than 6,100 families and individuals have reached out to us for help with food, employment, and housing.
Thanks to the JS Plank and DM DiCarlo Family Foundations’ generous support, we have quickly adapted our operations and scaled our capacity to deliver emergency shelter and food, assist with affordable housing and urgent financial support, offer job readiness programs and counseling services to help secure living-wage opportunities, and provide quality childcare and digital learning support for area school children.”
“My family and I are thankful to have the opportunity to support a community that is so full of life!” notes Scott Plank. “Cornerstones provides an excellent opportunity for short-term assistance, which turns into long-term success for individuals and their community.”
Since 1970, Cornerstones has championed the Dulles Corridor as a thriving, equitable, and compassionate place to live and work. More than 16,000 families and individuals, including upwards of 5,000 children, annually benefit from our safety-net services and programs, including homelessness prevention, emergency shelter and food, and urgent financial assistance to help stabilize people in times of crisis.