Two years ago, a Houston employee from Comcast contacted me to ask if we would be interested in having some volunteers come out to Camp Hope as part of Comcast Cares Day, the company’s annual celebration of their year-round service. I was certainly interested but, I must admit, I wasn’t overly excited. We often have a lot of people who want to help, but the results don’t always match the exuberance. Besides, I didn’t know anything about Comcast Cares Day.
Nevertheless, we set a meeting date to see what might be accomplished at Camp Hope. It was a new facility opened to provide interim housing for veterans and their immediate family members suffering from combat-related post-traumatic stress disorder. With support sessions, job counseling and other assistance, Camp Hope is a place they can heal in a caring and positive environment.
When the meeting day came, an entire team of Comcast employees showed up, and it was obvious that each member was an expert in their professional area. We looked into each room of every building, and outside each building at the developed and undeveloped grounds.
Comcast Cares Day soon arrived, and nearly 400 volunteers showed up – enthusiastic, focused, efficient and happy to do whatever their assignment was. They did landscaping, stained the porch areas, set up a grill pit, mounted televisions, set up a computer area, installed wiring for cable and Internet, and more. Entire families were eager to get to work, and had fun in the process.
As a result, every single resident, veteran and visitor to Camp Hope has been positively affected by what Comcast did on that single day.
That’s why my answer was an unequivocal "yes!" when the call came again this year to ask if we would partner on Comcast Cares Day on April 26, 2014, as one of more than 700 community project sites supported by 80,000-plus Comcast volunteers.
The facts can be discouraging. One in three of returning troops are being diagnosed with symptoms of post-traumatic stress, and many attempt suicide. Houston is the second largest veterans community in the country, in terms of resident veterans. Nearly one in four of every homeless adult in Houston is a veteran.
But thanks to the hearts and souls of employees at Comcast, many of our veterans and their families can look forward to living the fulfilling lives they so richly deserve.