One of my favorite days of the year has now passed — but the impact of our company's 11th Comcast Cares Day will spread across the country for months to come.
And we have great news to share.
We are proud to announce that a record-breaking 75,747 Comcasters, family members, friends and community partners turned out April 21st to join us on one of the nation's largest days of corporate volunteerism. The day also marked a remarkable 2.5 million-plus hours volunteered and more than $11 million committed to local organizations since Comcast Cares Day's launch in 2001.
Working hand-in-hand at 660 sites in 39 states and the District of Columbia, our volunteers this year contributed their time and energy to clean up parks, make over schools and landscape playgrounds. And we could not have done it without our many incredible partners, including the National Urban League, the National Council of La Raza, City Year, the Boys & Girls Club of America, Big Brothers Big Sisters of America and the United Way. We also worked alongside our NBCUniversal colleagues, who were fully engaged in planning projects to help transform neighborhood institutions in New York City, Orlando and Los Angeles.
I feel fortunate to have spent part of my Comcast Cares Day in Springfield, Mass., where I worked with about 100 volunteers at the Zanetti Montessori Magnet School building planters for the student courtyard, landscaping the front of the school building and taking inventory of new textbooks.
I also joined another 100 volunteers in Middletown, Connecticut — a place I will remember as much for the work we did as for the greeting I received. Stepping off a bus upon my arrival, the 9-year-old son of one of our call center supervisors welcomed me and said he was so excited about Comcast Cares Day. I thanked him for joining us to work. His response: "I LIVE for this day!" How awesome!
Working together with our volunteers, we then built a community garden named in honor of a local 8-year-old girl, Alondra Hernandez, who passed away suddenly last year. I was grateful we could give back to Alondra's hometown on Comcast Cares Day. The trip to Middletown was also special to me because I am a graduate of Wesleyan University, which is located there. As an undergraduate, I volunteered with a local community organization called TOPS, located in inner city Middletown. It was bittersweet to see that the community beyond the campus continues to deal with issues of poverty and access to quality education. But I was so proud to be a part of the Comcast contingent reaching out to make lives better in Middletown.
While there are many facts and figures I can recite to provide a snapshot of the overall impact of this year's event, I thought it more appropriate to share a few words from our partners on their experiences across the country.
"Many of us in Fredericksburg would like to say 'thank you' to Comcast for helping us to beautify the Rappahannock River...Rappahannock Big Brothers Big Sisters and Comcast share a common goal — an ongoing commitment to the Fredericksburg community...Our relationship is an excellent example of how public-private partnerships can make a difference."
-Michelle Hedrich, Executive Director, Rappahannock Big Brothers Big Sisters, Fredericksburg, Va.
"We are thrilled to have the Comcast Cares Day volunteers back again this year. As soon as you walk onto the property, the energy, enthusiasm, and 'roll-up-your-sleeves and get-it-done' attitude is visible on every face."
-Karen D. Bill, Executive Director, Humane Society of Greater Nashua, Nashua, N.H.
"The place looks beautiful. We couldn't do it without them. Not only did they bring the beauty back and the paint, they brought the muscle."
-Deborah Squires, Community Engagement Director, Northwest Harvest, Kent, Wash.
"We're very grateful to the team at Comcast for generously sharing their time and resources with Mazzoni Center as part of their citywide day of service, which not only helped us make significant physical improvements to two of our locations, but also provided an opportunity to share our passion and some details of our everyday work with their staff."
-Nurit Shein, Executive Director, Mazzoni Center, Philadelphia, Pa.
"On behalf of the 600,000 residents of Will County, we thank Comcast for its continued support of the Forest Preserve and its mission of providing clean, well-kept open space for the benefit of its citizens."
-Jim McFarland, Community Partnerships Manager, Will County District Forest Preserve, Joliet, Ill.