As a journalist, I've had the privilege to witness and cover some of our nation's biggest news events, including the last two presidential elections, the 2012 Olympics, the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks on the Pentagon — and, most recently, Hurricane Sandy.

Seeing the devastation Sandy caused throughout East Coast communities reinforced the important work relief agencies carry out year round, not just when news cameras are on the scene to provide coverage.

One of those agencies is United Way, and this fall I was honored to have been asked to tell the stories of three Comcast employees who know firsthand how United Way changes lives. Their stories, which helped kickoff the Comcast|NBCUniversal United Way campaign, helped rally my coworkers to give back to the communities they serve — and to raise a record $5.6 million in yearly employee pledges to United Way.

Combined with an additional $1.6 million in matching Comcast Foundation grants — some of which will be designated for Hurricane Sandy relief, adding to the more than $23 million raised through NBC's November benefit concert for Sandy victims — I am awed by the incredible impact we can have when we come together.

Thanks to the generosity of Comcast and its employees, I know United Way and other organizations like it will be even better prepared to respond to the next storm we face, and the needs of families across our country all year long.