Alexandria Toyota’s Community Ties
Since he first opened the doors to Alexandria Toyota in 1984, Jack Taylor has thread philanthropy into his business model.
“I enjoy being able to give back to the community,” says Taylor. “From a young age I was taught when you give, you receive and I try to live by that credo.”
Taylor has a distinguished track record of supporting countless civic and charitable organizations with his time, money and effort. Alexandria Toyota’s beneficiaries have included, The Run for Veterans, Art on the Avenue, Del Ray Music Festival, Alexandria City Public Schools, and the Parkinson’s Foundation of the National Capital Area, just to name a few. He’s donated over 20 vehicles to charities including Capital Hospice, the Salvation Army, the Alexandria Police Department and Alexandria public schools.
Every year, Taylor sponsors Golf and Field Day events which are a widely attended and have raised over $1.5 million for Capital Caring, and the most recent addition of The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research. For the last few years, Taylor has split the donations since his diagnosis of Parkinson’s in 2011.
For his good works, Taylor has won numerous awards, including the Alexandria Business Philanthropy Award, the Heart of the Community Award from the Hopkins House, the YMCA Strong Communities Award and the Passion for Caring Award presented by Capital Hospice, now known as Capital Caring.
Taylor’s passion for giving back has also inspired his 190 employees. They have formed teams representing Alexandria Toyota to give back to the community including raising funds and walking for the American Diabetes Association, the Parkinson’s Foundation of the National Capital Area, collecting canned goods around Thanksgiving for the local YMCA, sponsoring a local foster child and low income family for Christmas, among other initiatives.
While Taylor gives to a variety of organizations both locally and around the country, there are three he is particularly passionate about. These organizations – Friends of Guest House, the Alexandria Scholarship Fund, and Capital Caring – are all local organizations serving three often overlooked groups: women, college students and the elderly.
Taylor plans to continue his philanthropic activities for as long as he can. As he candidly puts it, “there isn’t a luggage rack on a hearse.”
Friends of Guest House
Friends of Guest House is a 501(c)(3) charity that helps Northern Virginia women make successful transitions from incarceration back into the community. It is the only group in the area providing women recently released from incarceration with re-entry support that is both comprehensive (including a 24/7 residential component) and tailored to women’s unique needs. Without re-entry support, 70% of ex-offenders nationwide re-offend within two years. Among Guest House graduates, fewer than 10% re-offend.
In 2015, Taylor received a donation request from the group to purchase a van to transport the women to interviews, jobs, medical appointments and more. Their mission struck a chord with Taylor, who decided if they could fundraise $10,000 he would provide the remaining funding to help them purchase a brand new Sienna minivan, through Alexandria Toyota.
In addition to the donation, Taylor designed graphics for the vehicle with the Guest House logo. The idea was to provide the women with expanded visibility in the community to help garner attention and additional donations.
“The visibility has been tremendously helpful,” says Kari Galloway, Executive Director of Guest House. “One woman saw the van in a parking lot, went to their website and began donating goods on the group’s wish list. Another spotted the van in her neighborhood and sent a $1,000 check. Galloway says, “It’s hard to know the overall impact, but just these two examples show us that people are reading, investigating and finding out how they can become involved!”
Taylor continues to support Guest House and has donated $10,000 so far in 2016. Galloway says that the van represents more than just a mode of transportation to the women. “[They appreciate that] someone in the community who cares about their well-being was kind enough to make [the donation] happen.”
Jack Taylor has donated over $2 million to Capital Caring over the course of 20 years. The organization has helped over 84,000 patients and families in the Washington area make the most of their time together by offering coordinated care, comfort and dignity to those living with serious illness. Since its founding 35 years ago, Capital Caring provides access to services for anyone in need of pain relief and symptom management as well as emotional support, regardless of their ability to pay.
“I am interested in Capital Caring mostly because of the influence of my parents,” says Taylor. “They taught me early on that everyone deserves dignity with death. It is difficult to explain to people what hospice does but once you have a personal experience, you will never forget them.”
In 2006, Jack received Capital Caring’s highest honor with its Passion for Caring Award for his tremendous achievements and commitment to hospice. This award shows Jack’s passion for supporting hospice, going above and beyond monetary giving. In recognition of his generous gifts to the Adler Centre for Caring, two training rooms are named in honor of his mother, Pauline Taylor, who passed away with the aid of Capital Caring in 2009.
“There are some hospice donors whose commitment goes to the very heart of who they are. And, Jack is one of those supporters,” says Malene Davis, President and CEO of Capital Caring. “Whether it is a gift when we needed it most, vital annual support, sponsorships of Capital Caring’s annual Passion for Caring Gala, hosting his own events, or providing capital support for facilities, Jack has come through for Capital Caring every time.”
Scholarship Fund of Alexandria
For 30 years, the Scholarship Fund of Alexandria (SFA) has provided financial aid and college advising to more than ten thousand graduates of TC William High School and their families and awarded scholarships with a total value of $12 million to more than 4,300 students.
Jack Taylor has been involved with the Scholarship Fund for over 24 years and has contributed more than $1.5 million through car donations, matching funds and new giving. With today’s value of scholarships of $3,000, that total funds 507 students — an entire year’s class that goes to college.
“It is my goal to make sure that any child [in Alexandria] who has the grades to go to college goes to college regardless of their financial situation,” says Taylor, “We are almost there.”
For this year’s 50th Anniversary of TC Williams High School, Alexandria Toyota contributed $50,000 to the Scholarship Fund. This amount was matched by the board and also matched by the community for a total contribution of $180,000. In the past, Alexandria Toyota has put up $175,000 to be matched by new giving. For the past nine years, the dealership has donated cars to be raffled at the annual fundraising Gala, raising $630,000 in raffle ticket sales. Taylor has also funded several scholarships within the Fund.
“Of course, there is so much more that he does to raise the profile of the SFA — the benefits are intangible but felt throughout the community,” says Beth Lovain, Executive Director of the Scholarship Fund. “Jack’s commitment to the SFA is mentioned to me all the time and solidifies our reputation.”
Ninety-three cents of every dollar donated goes into the fund, supporting students that come from over 80 countries and speak more than 60 languages.
This year, the Fund will award $900,000 in new and renewing scholarships and 87 percent of 2015 graduates went on to higher education. Recipients of an award are 50% more likely to graduate from college than other TC Williams graduates.