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Senior Shoppers Surprised with $100 Cash Visa Cards at Alexandria Safeway

ALEXANDRIA, VA – Shoppers at the Safeway in Alexandria on King Street were surprised this morning with $100 gift cards at checkout courtesy of PenFed Credit Union. In all, there were 100 cards disbursed to customers in addition to goodie bags containing face masks and hand sanitizers.

“I feel ecstatic about it!” said Edward Lacy who had come in during the 8:00 hour set aside by Safeway for seniors and others considered medically vulnerable to the coronavirus.

Edward Lacy was ecstatic with the surprise $100 he received after paying for his groceries. (Photo: Luccelle O’Flaherty)

Almost everyone apprached was thrilled but some shoppers declined the gift, choosing instead to pay it forward. “I’m totally employed. Financially, I’m ok right now. And I know a lot of other people are struggling, and I’d rather have them get that money,” said Rick who preferred not to give his last name.

Another Alexandrian Deborah Slize said, “My husband and I are retired. We have savings. We’re among the lucky ones. There are other people who need the help a lot more than us. It was my pleasure to decline. But I was happy to get the mask and sanitizer—those things are like gold!”

Deborah Slize respecfully desclined the gift card but said yest to the coveted mask and sanitizer. (Video by Lucelle O’Flaherty)

PenFed held a similar event last week in Hillandale, Maryland and an additional one in Southeast D.C. this past Tuesday. “85 years PenFed is celebrating this year so we’re giving back to our community,” said Kristina Henry, PenFed Director of Corporate and Community Relations.

Kristina Henry, PenFed Director of Corporate and Community Relations, Nicole Bentley, Safeway Store Director, Maria Tolley, PenFed customer since 1960, with co-hosts of The Tommy Show: Tommy McFly and Kelly Collis at the Bradlee Safeway where PenFed giveaway of $10,000 worth of Visa Gift cards Thursday, May 14, 2020. (Photo: Lucelle O’Flaherty)

Shoppers at each store received over $10,000 worth of gift cards. After this morning’s event, the credit union has donated a total of $50,000 to support communities in the Greater Washington Area.

89-year old Fairlington resident Marie Tolley was thrilled her credit union was doing the giveaway, “I have been a member of PenFed since 1960. This was such a surprise. Thank you, thank you everybody.”

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Mary Wadland

Mary Wadland is the Publisher and Editor in Chief of The Zebra Press, founded by her in 2010. Originally from Delray Beach, Florida, Mary is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Hollins College in Roanoke, VA and has lived and worked in the Alexandria publishing community since 1987.

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