In "Emily’s Oz," a commercial for the X1 talking guide that aired during the 2015 Oscars, viewers around the globe heard Emily describe the amazing world of beauty and wonder that she "sees" when she watches The Wizard of Oz.
For me, her story was the ultimate fulfillment of our investments in making our technology and media accessible to the widest range of customers. It also gets to the heart of what we do and why we do it. At Comcast NBCUniversal, we actively build the world we want to see, and use the power of our technology, storytelling, and media platforms to reach people in meaningful ways and change their lives for the better.
I’m incredibly proud of our achievements in 2015. I recognize they could not have happened without the ongoing commitment of our 153,000 employees to create lasting change in people’s lives and in our shared communities.
Last year, Comcast NBCUniversal contributed a combined $521 million in cash and in-kind support to local and national charitable organizations that share our commitment to improving communities and enriching lives. But that’s just part of our 2015 corporate citizenship story.
We also channeled the power of our media platforms to focus attention on important issues and inspire people to take action. By hosting Red Nose Day, we helped raise $23 million for programs to benefit children and young people in poverty across the United States and around the world.
We connected more low-income families than in any previous year to the Internet at home. Through Internet Essentials, our high-speed Internet adoption program, we’ve now provided more than 600,000 low-income families to date — or more than 2.4 million Americans — with access to resources to improve their quality of life.
We set a new record as more than 100,000 of our employees, their friends, and their families volunteered alongside our nonprofit partners to complete over 900 community projects during Comcast Cares Day, our annual celebration of our year-round commitment to service. Our employees also helped generate more than $10 million — the company’s highest-ever total — through our annual United Way giving campaign.
Meanwhile, we redoubled our efforts to bring the world’s most talented people into our ranks. This included hiring our first ever Vice President of Military and Veteran Affairs to help us reach our goal of hiring 10,000 veterans, National Guard and Reserve members, and military spouses by year-end 2017.
And, as always, we looked for new ways to encourage innovation, including connecting with a new generation of startups and entrepreneurs in several communities. We believe a vibrant startup culture creates stronger cities.
I would have loved to share these and other accomplishments with my father, Ralph Roberts, who founded Comcast in 1963. He passed away last year, but I take heart in knowing that his legacy of integrity, community giving, and entrepreneurship is stronger than ever. For that, I am grateful to our customers, our partners, and all our Comcast NBCUniversal employees. Thank you for an inspiring year.
Brian L. Roberts, Chairman and CEO