More than 20 years ago, I joined Comcast as a technician and cable installer. My career has taken me from coast to coast, with roles in Chicago, Seattle, Houston, New Hampshire, and now Philadelphia. But no matter what my title was or where I was working, one thing that remained constant was the passion of the colleagues I worked with when it came to supporting our communities. This commitment to giving back stands out each fall during our company’s annual United Way Campaign as our employees rally together to pledge support to United Way and the thousands of nonprofit organizations it funds across the country.
Today, I am extraordinarily proud to announce that this year we have topped our company record, with $10 million in support for United Way. Employees pledged nearly $8 million, with many diverting a portion of every paycheck next year to help people in need. Combined with more than $2 million in grants from the Comcast Foundation to support local United Way affiliates nationwide, Comcast NBCUniversal will surpass $75 million in total support to United Way since 2001.
The simple fact is that one pledge makes a deep impact one life at a time. I know this firsthand because I was a recipient of someone else who gave, and I had the chance to tell my story during our employee campaign through a companywide video.
I grew up without a lot of money. My mother, a housekeeper, and my father, a dock worker, committed incredibly long hours to make ends meet, and that meant my siblings and I needed somewhere to go after school. Our recreation center in Norfolk, Va. provided not only a safe place, but a place for us to focus on our education. Thanks to United Way, my siblings and I were able to find a successful path forward.
While at first I was reluctant to share this personal part of my life and relive the past, I am glad I did. So many employees that I hadn’t met before reached out to me during our campaign, expressing how my story touched a chord with them because they could see how their donations make an impact. We all have a story – and I feel humbled to have had the opportunity to share mine. Somewhere out there today there is someone else who is living in the exact situation as I was, and it is my hope that United Way pledges by our Comcast NBCUniversal employees will help them pave their own path forward in life.