I had the pleasure last week of attending United Way’s annual Staff Leaders Conference in Indiana, which brings hundreds of leaders from local United Ways together to share ideas about how we can continue to meet the challenges faced by communities across the country.

While the event was a way for us to reconnect with our peers and share best practices, it was also a time to celebrate the partners that are so critical to helping us achieve a significant impact for those in need.

On Thursday, Comcast was one of the companies honored during United Way’s annual Spirit of America Awards, receiving two Summit Awards for philanthropic engagement and volunteer engagement – among United Way’s highest honors. The awards result from a competitive judging process through which applicants are evaluated by corporate peers and local United Ways.

For us at United Way of Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey, the recognition was no surprise. In my five years at the helm of United Way, I’ve seen firsthand the impact that Comcast has in our region.

With Comcast’s support to our annual campaign and year-round programs, there are more children entering kindergarten ready to learn. There are more working adults earning a family-sustaining income. There are more seniors able to age in good health with dignity in their homes. There are more members of our communities with access to the building blocks of a successful life: education, income and health. 

This impact is not only in our backyard in Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey – it’s replicated with other local United Ways across the country.

The numbers speak volumes. Last year alone, Comcast invested well over $300 million in charitable programs and partnerships in 39 states and the District of Columbia, including $9.5 million in cash and in-kind support to United Way partners around the country. And through Comcast Cares Day last year, Comcast mobilized more than 70,000 people who gave in excess of 454,000 volunteer hours.

For us, the value of our partnership extends beyond the dollars. It’s in the time and expertise lent by Comcast executives who serve on our local United Way boards of directors. It’s in the visibility and awareness raised by the airing of public service announcements that educate the public about our programs and services.

It is also about the alignment of our joint commitment to improving lives where we live and work.  On behalf of the United Way, I would like to congratulate Comcast on this recognition.