That’s 15 years of joining hands with hundreds of local partners at once to make our shared communities better. Over the years, more than 800,000 Comcast NBCUniversal volunteers have donated 5 million hours of service in local communities coast to coast, and around the world.
At the heart of this 15-year tradition are our employees, and their deep commitment to giving back year round. From recommending Comcast Cares Day projects at schools, parks and recreation centers, to making the change that happens a reality, our employees drive Comcast Cares Day from beginning to end. And for one of our Twin Cities employees, Dave Nyberg, this tradition has an extra special meaning as it has strengthened ties with an organization close to his heart.
Growing up in Minnesota, Dave Nyberg was one of five children. The oldest, Nancie, had Down syndrome and the family did all they could to accommodate her. She loved watching the Minnesota Twins play baseball, the Vikings play football, and she loved all-star wrestling as well. "In our house, at 6 p.m. every Saturday evening, wrestling came on Channel 11 and we all had to watch it," Dave recalls.
Indeed, his parents were outspoken about creating a good life for Nancie, who was born in 1944, at a time when children with intellectual and development disabilities had few rights and opportunities. After she was born, the family intentionally moved from Michigan to the Twin Cities region because of the growing movement of support there for people like Dave’s sister. Once there, they worked closely with the local chapter of The Arc (then named the Association for Retarded Citizens) to develop programs and provide support for Nancie and others, including creating Teen-Y-Toppers, which gave teens with disabilities the chance to build a social life outside their home by, for instance, going to dances at the local YWCA.
Nancie graduated from school, lived in a group home before having her own apartment, and also worked for 35 years at a local nonprofit, now known as Opportunity Partners, which provides job training, employment and residential support to help people with disabilities live independent lives.
In 2001, Nancie passed away, after leading a life filled with the love and support of her family members and friends.
About a year later, Dave began his career with Comcast, where he is now senior manager of external communications in the Twin Cities. It is part of his job to help ensure the success of Comcast Cares Day by raising public awareness about the difference the day makes in the lives of Twin Cities residents. In 2008, Dave’s work took on a new meaning when the local United Way affiliate suggested The Arc Greater Twin Cities as a Comcast Cares Day partner.
On each Comcast Cares Day since, Comcast volunteers have donated their time to sort clothing and provide other support at one of five thrift stores owned by The Arc. Money raised by sales of goods donated to Arc’s Value Village thrift stores benefits The Arc Greater Twin Cities.
This past Comcast Cares Day, held April 30, took a slightly different tack as volunteer efforts were centralized at the Minnesota State Fairgrounds. "We thought it would have even more impact to elevate the individual projects into a larger, single site project where we could bring hundreds of our employees together in one location to support The Arc Greater Twin Cities," Dave said.
Early on the morning of Comcast Cares Day, three semitrailers delivered clothing for 350 volunteers to sort through. The volunteers first determined whether the donated goods were in good shape to be sold, and if so, helped divide it into piles for women, men and children, etc.
In all, volunteers sorted through 35,000 pounds of clothing and household items that Arc’s Value Village thrift stores were able to sell for $35,000. "All of that work, which took place in a few hours, would have otherwise taken a couple of weeks," said Molly Lindblad, volunteer development manager for Arc’s Value Village stores. The effort was the largest, single-day project The Arc has worked on. "It’s so great to have that many hands in a few hours to get so much done… We will always say ‘yes’ to Comcast Cares Day."
For Dave, he is appreciative to be working for a company that supports an organization that his family is closely tied to. "The bottom line," he says, "is The Arc can have an even greater impact in our community, and we as a corporate partner help make that happen."
Click here to learn more about how Comcast NBCUniversal partners with The Arc, and watch the video below to see how we made change happen during our 15th anniversary of Comcast Cares Day.