There is always a special notation on my calendar for Comcast’s United Way campaign, which is under way now throughout our company.

As many continue to struggle in today’s difficult economy, there is great urgency on a daily basis to address basic and special needs in our communities. Making a pledge to the United Way gives me and thousands of our employees the opportunity to extend a helping hand to others.

The United Way campaign plays a vital role in what has truly become part of our culture of giving back to the communities where we live and work. More than 45 years ago, our founder Ralph Roberts invited the United Way into Comcast. This campaign – and more broadly our long-term relationship with United Way – continues to be at the core of our community investment efforts at Comcast.

Several of our executives, including myself, have been honored to serve on local United Way boards. In the process, we have met with many CEOs of other companies, making personal pleas for their organizations to contribute to United Way.

Employees of United Way and Comcast participate in each other’s major initiatives, including United Way’s Days of Caring and our own Comcast Cares Day. We’re also pleased to provide free air time for United Way to run its powerful public service announcements.

In short, this is a wonderful partnership.

Last year, thanks to the generosity of our employees, we raised more than $4.5 million for more than 230 local United Way chapters. Adding grants from the Comcast Foundation, we were able to contribute a record total of over $6 million ($11 million total in the last two years).

Through this type of support from companies and individuals around the country, local United Way chapters make a positive difference to countless numbers of people. Here at Comcast, we’re always pleased to do our part.