Henrico, Va. June 26, 2019 – Faith Hooper has deep roots in Varina. Now the Varina High School alumna wants to make sure that needy Blue Devil students have the basics they need to grow and bloom.
Hooper’s employer of 30 years, Dominion Energy, recognized her in April for her decades of volunteer work. The honor included a $5,000 donation to a cause of Hooper’s choosing. After considering a variety of options for her donation, Hooper decided the funds could best be used helping students close to home.
“Not only are my daughter and I are both graduates of Varina High, I also live in the Varina community,” said Hooper. “I want to help the community in which I live and assist with basic needs. Varina High School has students who need assistance, and I’d like to help them with access to basic hygiene items, basic school supplies and clothing – such as a new pair of shoes.
“I hope to inspire young teens to feel good about themselves, and part of that is creating a food pantry that includes healthy snacks. Students will have a place to go to grab a healthy snack, if needed, to gain the confidence to focus on their education. By helping those in need, I hope to lead by example.”
Hooper worked with the Henrico Education Foundation, the HCPS Department of Family and Community Engagement, and the Varina High School administration to set up details of the fund.
“We are grateful for Dominion Energy’s support and Mrs. Hooper’s selection of HEF and Varina High School to be the recipients of the donation,” said Mike Taylor, executive director of the Henrico Education Foundation.
“The funds will be earmarked to support students at Varina High and will provide a helping hand to ensure every student has the tools and supplies they need to be successful in school. Each year the foundation works closely with the HCPS Family and Community Engagement office to raise funds for school supplies and materials to assist financially disadvantaged students across Henrico County.”
Hooper has volunteered in various capacities at Varina High School and Elko Middle School, including in the PTA, as a team parent for cheerleading and gymnastics, as part of the Michael Robinson Football Camp, and as a volunteer with her high school class.
She has also participated in community volunteer efforts with at least a dozen organizations, including the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, Habitat for Humanity, the United Way, the American Heart Association, Toys for Tots and Feed More.
As part of its Volunteer of the Year program, Dominion Energy recognizes one employee per year in each of six categories: Critical Human Needs; Community Vitality; Career Achievement; Environment; Education; and First Responder. Hooper was recognized in the Career Achievement category.