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.
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!”
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.
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.”