Today is the day I look forward to every day of the year - Comcast Cares Day.  Over 100,000 Comcast NBCUniversal employees and their families, friends, and community partners will volunteer at more than 1,000 community improvement projects in over 20 countries worldwide.  Comcast Cares Day is the nation’s largest single-day corporate volunteer effort, and a powerful representation of our company’s year-round commitment to community service.  This year is especially exciting; we will surpass one million volunteers who have participated in this amazing company tradition since 2001.

We are firm believers that corporations have a responsibility to give back to the communities where their employees and customers live and work and to partner with local governments, organizations, and nonprofits to make our communities stronger.  That is what Comcast Cares Day is all about.  Projects this year include revitalizing neighborhood parks and schools, painting murals, teaching digital literacy and jobs skills, assembling care packages for U.S. military service members and veterans, and a partnership with the Arbor Day Foundation to plant about 1,000 trees in areas of California, Florida, and Texas impacted by last year’s wildfires and hurricanes.

Many other nonprofit community organizations will serve with us today, including UnidosUS, National Urban League, Boys & Girls Clubs of AmericaBig Brothers Big Sisters of AmericaCity Year, Easterseals, and The Arc, along with hundreds of local community organizations that will be working side-by-side with Comcast Cares Day employee volunteers.

Comcast NBCUniversal also partners with Global Citizen and Red Nose Day – two initiatives designed to eradicate poverty, globally and in the United States.  Global Citizen and Red Nose Day harness music and entertainment as vehicles to engage people around the world to drive positive change.  And Comcast Cares Day helps to engage our employees in those efforts.

I’m excited to spend this Comcast Cares Day in Detroit, working with Cities of Service at the S.A.Y Detroit Play Center, and with Cradles to Crayons in Chicago.  Our work in both cities follows an exceptional project we held Wednesday in Philadelphia to kick off Comcast Cares Day featuring twin sisters Jocelyne and Monique Lamoureux, two of the leaders of the U.S. Olympic Gold Medal Women’s Hockey Team.  Working with Snider Hockey, an organization that uses hockey to help boys and girls thrive in sports and in life, and City Year Philadelphia, we cleaned up the grounds surrounding a local hockey rink in West Philadelphia.  Jocelyne and Monique then held two hockey clinics for kids from the neighborhood, the majority of whom were girls, and participated with a group of Comcast employees in some academic enrichment activities with the Snider Hockey kids.  The way Jocelyne and Monique related to those kids was incredibly inspirational.  To cap off the day, we surprised the kids with free laptops as part of our Internet Essentials program, which provides low-cost internet service and free digital literacy training to people in low-income communities.

Senior Executive Vice President & Chief Diversity Officer, David L. Cohen takes a photos with two USA ice hockey Olympians outside of the ice rink.
Two Olympic athletes smile as they prepare to plant flowers.
Senior Executive Vice President & Chief Diversity Officer,  David L. Cohen stands with Olympians and kids in a group photo on the ice rink.
A USA Olympian bends down on the hockey rink to take a selfie with a children's hockey team.
A child smiles while holding up a drawing she made.
Two girls on a hockey team smile at one another on the ice rink.

With about 1,000 projects this year, I will never be able to visit all of them.  But I don’t have to visit to know the spirit of Comcast Cares Day comes to life at each site.  All of us are incredibly grateful to our employees and other volunteers for their dedication to this day year after year.  Whether they are building, cleaning, teaching, painting – they are serving – and bringing real change to our communities -- and I couldn’t be more proud.