In our 50th year of service, we would love to express our deepest appreciation to our Volunteers!
Many of you have watched our nonprofit grow and expand our impact over the past five decades, while some of you have only recently started sharing your time and talents with us. Either way, we cherish and thank you all. The number of lives you’ve touched is immeasurable!
Meet some of our Volunteers!
Learn about what giving back to the community means to them.
Our Cornerstones 2020 Volunteer Highlight!
Highlighting volunteers that go above and beyond to ensure our community thrives.
Volunteer, Assistance Services and Pantry Program, Embry Rucker Community Shelter Meal Server, Events Volunteer…and more!
In the warm months of the year, Jake Fischer helps our Pantry Program by being a Lead Volunteer at our SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance) at Market tent at the Reston Farmer’s Market. The SNAP at Market allows program recipients to use their benefits to purchase fresh produce at local farm markets, and also receive additional matching funds to stretch their food dollars further for healthy fruits and vegetables they buy there.
In 2019, Jake served 36 low-income families weekly at our SNAP-at-Market program, distributing roughly 1,000 tokens weekly. Over 90% of those served were over the age of 65 and living on fixed incomes. They would have had a harder time accessing and affording fresh produce if Jake did not take the lead to help maintain this program. He dedicated 100+ hours of service to this alone.
On Thursdays, Jake also served hot, freshly cooked meals to 100-120 homeless men, women, and children at our Embry Rucker Community Shelter. In 2019, he also volunteered on-site at our housing forum, gala, and other special events. As a result of Jake’s service with us and because he saw a need to help more, Jake wanted to further his impact. He applied to serve on the Fairfax County Consolidated Community Funding Pool committee and now works with the committee to help determine funding priorities for human services needs throughout Fairfax County.
Jake is always eager to do more. Even on short notice, Jake volunteers with a smile and gives his all to help us. What makes Jake unique is that he is ready to assist us in any capacity – regardless of the time of day, weather conditions, or task. When the majority of Cornerstones Pantry staff were on paternity leave in 2019, Jake donated more of his summer vacation time off from teaching to organize items, clean storage units, pick up produce from grocery stores, and other tasks that were typically assigned to staff.
“Through his dedicated and cheerful service, Jake continuously shows staff ways volunteers make a difference and how it positively impacts clients to know that community members care about them.” notes Susan Alger, Director of Volunteer and Community Engagement.
Financial Literacy Program Leader
For the past eight years, Thomas Seneca, Managing Partner of T.M. Wealth Management, has volunteered his time and talents to Cornerstones through a unique financial literacy program that focuses on the mechanics of financial management and developing good financial habits. His class content and the one-on-one mentorship program helps our clients improve their perception and understanding of how good money management will help build a stable future. Many class participants, who were formerly homeless or living in subsidized housing, have gone on to become homeowners!
Most financial literacy programs focus on the technical
aspects of financial literacy, like budgeting, debt, and credit.
While these elements are essential, they are simply tools
for making better financial decisions. Thomas redesigned
Cornerstones’ program to focus on dissolving negative
habits, often formed through generational poverty, to
improve personal spending habits and develop a desire to
improve their financial situation. Thomas leads the monthly
sessions, guiding clients and their mentors through
exercises that assist in identifying values, goals, and the
habits that block the attainment of those goals.