In the last week of October 2012, most of the 5,000 residents of the New Jersey shore town of Highlands did what they could to prepare for Hurricane Sandy, which was already ravaging many other communities along the East Coast.
But when she struck, Sandy inflicted unprecedented damage throughout this working-class community, flooding more than 80 percent of homes, destroying more than a dozen local businesses and severely damaging public buildings and parks.
Throughout the affected areas, we quickly dispatched teams of local technicians to repair services we provide. We organized widespread food and clothing drives, collecting thousands of pounds of non-perishable food, paper goods, diapers and other much-needed items. And our NBCUniversal colleagues hosted a multi-network star-studded telethon that raised $23 million for the American Red Cross and relief efforts.
But repairing lives takes time, and immense work remains.
As a symbol of Comcast’s ongoing commitment to our communities, I’m thrilled to announce that we will bring some of our best resources – our employee volunteers, their friends and families – to Highlands to continue the relief efforts during Comcast Cares Day on Saturday, April 27.
The Highlands relief effort will be among 60 volunteer projects our New Jersey, southeastern Pennsylvania and northern Delaware employees will be participating in that day – and among more than 600 projects our employees will be participating in nationwide, hand in hand with community partners like Boys & Girls Club, United Way, City Year, Easter Seals and so many more.
Our employees have always invested themselves in giving back to communities where we live and serve, and Comcast Cares Day, begun in 2001, is the culmination of our year-round volunteer service. As our company celebrates our 50th anniversary this year, I am heartened to know that, to date, more than 437,000 volunteers have participated in Comcast Cares Day, donating more than 2.6 million hours of service to improve more than 4,200 sites from coast to coast. Comcast Cares Day today is the largest single-day corporate volunteer effort in the nation, and it’s one of the reasons I am proud to work here.
This year in Highlands, about 250 company volunteers will join the Highlands Business Partnership, Rebuilding Together, Clean Ocean Action, local residents and government officials for a community-wide cleanup that will include restoring two local parks, repairing the boardwalk, cleaning up the beach, planting dune grass, restoring a community center and assisting residents moving back into their homes.
I’m honored to be joining in these efforts to bring hope to Highlands and make change happen on Comcast Cares Day.