“Cornerstones of Our Community” were the focus at the Hyatt Regency Reston Oct. 26, celebrating Cornerstones’ work, impact and future projects. The event also honored special individuals for their extraordinary service to the community.
Individuals honored were Senator Janet Howell, Delegate Ken Plum, and Supervisor John Foust, all retiring this year. Each of them has devoted their time in public service to address affordable housing, food sufficiency and thriving children, youth and families in the community, dovetailing with Cornerstones’ mission to promote self-sufficiency by providing support and advocacy for those in need of food, shelter, affordable housing, quality childcare and other human services.
U.S. Rep. Gerry Connolly spoke about the unsung work taking place in the community to provide affordable housing and other services to those in need. He recognized the work of Howell, Plum and Foust as well as Cornerstones in pushing forward.
Between the three retiring public servants, they have dedicated more than 100 years of public service to the community, noted Kerrie Wilson, Chief Executive Officer of Cornerstones. “We are really appreciative of the collaboration that we've been able to see with our public servants, with our volunteers, with our religious organizations. To me personally, it is incredibly meaningful that we can come together and solve really important problems in our community. All of you in this room have made that possible.”
“Ken, Janet, John, you have taught us if there’s one thing that we should do — that there’s a path for everyone who wants to learn and advance and an imperative that every child should succeed. And thank you so much for your service, we will miss you,” said Wilson.
Over the last couple of years, Cornerstones has seen hundreds of families and people rehoused, moved from the streets into affordable housing. The nonprofit has also provided hundreds of thousands of pounds of food and toiletries over the last couple of years. Wilson expressed pride in the Laurel Learning Center, which provides childcare, pre-school, summer programs and before and after school care through 6th grade to families who qualify.
Wilson also shared information about affordable housing partnerships and strategic initiatives underway: Fair Ridge at West Ox and Residences at Government Center, both in Fairfax County; and Tuscarora Crossing and Arcola School Development, both in Loudoun County. The new FREE from Hunger Center in Loudoun (located in Sterling), will open next month. It is a 10,000 square foot food rescue and distribution hub, partnering with nonprofit, faith, schools and neighborhood-based pantry and feeding programs along the Northern Virginia Dulles corridor.
Cornerstones has served the community for over 50 years. They work together with the community to promote stability, empowerment, and hope through support, advocacy, and community-building for individuals and families in need. Cornerstones serves 16,000 people including 5,000 children each year along the Dulles Corridor.
Since 1970, Cornerstones has worked with a diverse network of faith-based organizations, corporate partners, donors, advocates, and volunteers who are deeply committed to strengthening families living and working along the Dulles Corridor. The caring and generous community enables Cornerstones to provide a comprehensive, holistic approach that helps people rebuild their self-sufficiency, resiliency, and hope for a better future.