Comcast's Fundamentals of Leadership (FOL) program is conducted annually to further develop the management and leadership skills of Comcast talent from across the company. One component of the FOL program requires each trainee to identify, create and complete a community service project either individually or with a team. The service project is an important priority to Comcast, which believes our responsibilities to the communities where we work and where we live do not end with our telecommunications services.
Read about the experience below of one FOL participant, Thomas Piggee II, Director of Tech Operations, Commercial Services, Livermore, Calif.
This past June, as part of my community investment project for the Comcast Fundamentals of Leadership program, I teamed up with fellow Comcast participants — Elton Hart, Director of Business Services in Livermore, Calif. and Petra Diederichs-Brissett, Manager of Retention in Morgan Hill, CA — to provide support to Family House. Family House is a non-profit organization that provides temporary housing for families of seriously ill children receiving treatment at the University of California San Francisco Benioff Children's Hospital. Those families are trying to keep their spirits up for their children that have been diagnosed with terminal cancer.
I personally understand their worries and struggles as I have lost three family members to cancer, the most recent being my 9-year-old cousin two years ago. I think back to that time and wish we had additional support available to us outside the family. I appreciate my time with Comcast and the fact that they make "the community" a priority. That allowed me to give back to cancer communities in need.
Family House can accommodate 107 people each night and maintains a nearly 100 percent occupancy rate. Over the course of a year, it serves more than 2,000 families. Family House helps keep parents close to the hospital during the difficult journey of caring for a sick child. The average length of treatment for seriously ill children is six weeks, so being close to the hospital is critical for families, many of whom are at or below low-income status.
Our Fundamentals of Leadership project included a toiletry drive for items to help parents for their unexpected overnight stays. We raised more than 30,000 items, including toys, toiletries, linens, hand sanitizer, pillows, canned goods and so much more.
It was incredibly humbling to see the families' faces when we arrived with the truck and van filled. They had so much appreciation for what we delivered. These are families that have our products and now have a part of our heart. We were able to meet some of the families and see the hope in their eyes and I am sure their hearts. This was probably the most enriching feeling that I have had thus far in my life. For me and my family, it was a tough time in our lives and hearts, so the FOL project seemed like a perfect fit for me. The FOL project was a true example of Comcast serving the communities where employees live and work.
The community projects completed by the 2011 Fundamentals of Leadership class were varied and reflected the diversity of the approximately 100 Comcast leaders and their community service interests: food fundraisers, clothing and book drives, digital literacy, and career development workshops. This year's efforts collected approximately 5,152 books, 2,443 pounds of food and 49,212 articles of clothing, household items and school supplies. Completing the community service component of the FOL program helped me understand why it is important to choose the organizations we assisted to help us grow as leaders, professionally and personally.
The even cooler moment came when we learned about the thank you video that Family House made for us and posted on YouTube. Do yourself a favor and watch it. To sum it up in my own words: "Comcast Rocks." I am excited to spread the word and offer our services on behalf of this great company.