Whether reporting from my hometown of Philadelphia or the White House, the news I have covered throughout my journalism career has given me direct insights into the struggles of ordinary people. I’ve learned, for example, about the challenges faced by so many when it comes to skyrocketing expenses resulting from medical setbacks, the efforts of minimum-wage workers to do more than just put food on the table, or the consequences of unforeseen events like a house fire or a flood.

I’ve also had the opportunity to get to know organizations that work day in and day out to provide support to people facing those and other challenges. One of those organizations is United Way.

As a national nonprofit with more than 1,200 local affiliates, United Way is uniquely positioned to provide local support to communities nationwide. In addition, United Way’s reach is further extended through the web of support it provides to thousands of local organizations that it funds. Many of us have never heard of some of these organizations – such as the Regional Rehabilitation Center in Tupelo, Miss. This organization fills a critical role every day for the family of Comcast technician Lane Watts. Thanks to funds from United Way, the center provides treatment and support services – free of charge – to Lane’s 8-year-old autistic son, relieving the family of a tremendous financial burden.

Lane courageously agreed to participate in our United Way employee video this year, which I invite you to watch. The video also tells the story of one of our leaders in Philadelphia who credits a local United Way-funded recreation center in Virginia with keeping him out of trouble after school, and shares why giving to United Way is so important to our company’s chairman and chief executive officer, Brian L. Roberts.

Comcast NBCUniversal has been partnering with United Way since shortly after our founding more than 50 years ago. Thanks to the generosity of so many of my fellow employees, I know we will continue to help people live better lives in the years ahead.