By Hope J. Gibbs
Capital One was one of the honorees at the Hopkins House 15th Annual “Heart of the Community” Awards Luncheon held at the new Hotel Monaco on King Street. The financial institution was celebrated for its generous contributions to the Alexandria community by partnering with local leaders to help low-income families with education and development programs.
While Hopkins House President J. Glenn Hopkins was speaking to the honorees, he matter-of-factly stated that the nonprofit organization was still short $52,000 toward its goal of $100,000 for its Children’s Scholarship Fund. He exuberantly added that if everyone at the luncheon would just pull out their checkbooks and write a check for $300, the financial goals for the fund would be met.
“We were just having a wonderful luncheon to honor Capital One’s continued support, and for no other reason,” said Hopkins. “But as soon as I mentioned the fund, I noticed napkins flying around the table between the Capital One executives as they scribbled messages back and forth to each other.”
Stepping up again
That’s when the real shocker came for Hopkins. After Hopkins House trustee Noel Shepherd presented Capital One vice president for community affairs, Carolyn Berkowitz, with the 2008 “Heart of the Community Award” for the organizations local philanthropy and outstanding community work, she announced that Capital One would match all donations made to the scholarship fund — up to $26,000. This challenge grant would give Hopkins House half of the sorely needed $52,000.
“Capital One is committed to fostering healthy, vibrant communities that are great places to raise children,” said Berkowitz. “We know that access to quality early childhood education is critical to a successful future for children and their families. We are pleased to be able to help Hopkins House reach 40 needy children and families in Fairfax County by making this challenge grant.”
“It was riveting,” said Hopkins. “You can’t imagine. We had no idea that this was going to happen and I was blown over. We had not asked or expected a gift of such proportions from Capital One, so to receive such a spontaneous gift was incredibly delightful.”
Since the luncheon and the announcement of the challenge grant by Capital One, Hopkins House has received dozens of checks. “We have had checks sent in for as little as $5 up to $10,000,” said Hopkins. “Every little bit helps, and we hope the donations will keep coming in!” Which leads to the notable Capital One question: What’s in your wallet?
For more information on Hopkins House, visit www.hopkinshouse.org.