Pay It Forward – Virtual Hugs for Heroes (Providing free meals to 911 Dispatchers)


Easterns Automotive Group and Fox 5 DC have both been hard at work since COVID-19 hit the DMV region. The pair created a new segment called Virtual Hugs for Heroes under their Pay It Forward umbrella. The purpose of this was to highlight and give back to the frontline employees that still have to work through this pandemic. Coronavirus has certainly impacted everyone in negative ways, but several positives have come out of it too. This has given many a new perspective on things that are important in life and brought the community closer together during such an unknown time.

In celebration of hard-working men and women on the frontlines across the DMV, both Easterns and Fox 5 DC wanted to put a spotlight on a special group of individuals. They chose to recognize 911 dispatchers at the McConnell Public Safety and Transportation Operations Center in Fairfax, Virginia. These are the people that we call to talk us through an emergency and send immediate help. With so many people dying and getting ill from coronavirus, many of these dispatchers are working around the clock. Working 12-hour shifts is certainly no easy task especially in the middle of a pandemic.

The Pay It Forward team wanted to show these dispatchers their appreciation for the hard work that they continue to put in. Easterns Automotive Group purchased lunch for the entire dispatch team from Choong Man Chicken in Fairfax, VA. It was important to them every dispatcher receives a hot meal because nutrition is extremely important especially while working those long hours. The wonderful owner of Choong Man Chicken donated 500 PPE bundles to the dispatch team as well. As an organization, the staff at McConnell Public Safety and Transportation Operations Center remains dedicated to helping people in need. They are working with Communities of Trust to collect items for families. If you or someone you know would like to help this cause, please visit

If you know someone in the DC, Maryland, and Virginia area that goes above and beyond the call and is worthy of being recognized, Click here to nominate them.

Watch the video to see the way everything unfolded.

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