This Saturday, I’m going to join more than 50,000 colleagues, friends, and community partners participating in nearly 500 local projects in 39 states across America — which I think is a great way to celebrate the President’s commitment to volunteerism. We call it "Comcast Cares Day" and it’s our annual hands-on day of service in the communities where we live and work.
We’re partnering up with affiliates of the National Urban League and National Council of La Raza, local City Year corps, and non-profit organizations across the country to stock food banks, clean up schoolyards, plant trees, and doing just about whatever else needs to be done. I’ll be at Hunting Park in North Philadelphia at 7:30 on Saturday as part of a volunteer team that will be constructing a new playground.
We’ve had some pretty amazing stories come out of Comcast Cares Day since we began the tradition in 2001. We’ve discovered that some of our Comcast volunteers are returning to help an organization that had helped them through a tough time in their lives. And I’ll never forget a project I worked on in Irvington, New Jersey - a poor and troubled town outside of Newark - a couple of years ago.
Our local volunteer team was setting up a small computer lab in a community center and building a new playground. I arrived there in the late morning, along with the chairman of Comcast, after we’d worked on a clean-up project in Philadelphia.
We took a walk through the neighborhood with some of the residents. Everything looked pretty quiet, but the locals told us that Irvington was one of the most dangerous towns in the country. One of the neighbors came up to us and said, "Thank you for everything you’re doing here. No one ever comes to Irvington." I was very glad that we had.
It’s been great to see how fast Comcast Cares Day has grown over the years, and how much we’ve accomplished. By the end of the day on Saturday, we will have contributed over 1.3 million hours of service since 2001. I don’t know if the Guinness people recognize world records for community service, but I’ll bet we’re a contender! Look for us in your neighborhood this weekend. We’ll be wearing the blue T-shirts.
Update: Our CEO Brian Roberts was interviewed on Fox News about Comcast Cares Day.