Businesses big and small find many creative and meaningful ways to make a positive difference in their communities. From generous donations to volunteering, it’s important for businesses to connect with and give back to the communities that support them.
For more than 50 years, Comcast has been a national and local leader in improving the communities where their employees and customers live and work. One way that Comcast does this is through Comcast Cares Day. This annual event, which started in 2001, has grown from 6,100 volunteers improving 110 sites in its first year to nearly 95,000 volunteers improving more than 820 sites throughout 500 communities nationwide today.
Locally in the South Sound, Comcast employees have found a variety of ways to improve their communities during Comcast Cares Day. From beautifying neighborhoods to cleaning up parks, Comcast Cares Day is about saying thanks, giving back and making the community a better place for everyone.
Last year, employees from Comcast’s Puyallup office gave back during Comcast Cares Day by helping rehabilitate and improve some of the facilities and grounds at the Washington Soldiers Home and cemetery in Orting. This year, they’re returning with more than 150 volunteers to continue what they started.
“Being in Puyallup, we’re really close to Fort Lewis and McChord,” says Comcast CommOps Supervisor and Comcast Cares Day Puyallup office project lead, Jackie Doolittle. “We have a lot of veterans working with us. Someone suggested [partnering] with the Washington Soldiers Home and we thought, ‘Why didn’t we think of this before?’”
In their first year working with the Washington Soldiers Home, Comcast employees and community volunteers did everything from cleaning and repairs to landscaping and general maintenance. “They did a great job improving the material condition of the Soldiers Home,” says Washington Soldiers Home Facilities Manager, Dennis Suarez. “They were engaged in headstone cleaning at the cemetery, replaced a shed at the ball field, painted stanchions in the covered walkways, painted building steps, cleaned garden areas around several buildings, painted the gazebo, and pressure washed.”
This year, Comcast plans to revisit some of the projects they started last year, as well as tackle some new ones, too.
Comcast Puyallup office Technical Operations Supervisor Comcast Cares Day project site co-lead, Aaron Olson, says this year Comcast will take on some projects they identified while on-site at last year’s event. One of which includes removing the foliage and greenery that is currently covering the signage at the entrance of the Washington Soldiers Home.
With only a handful of facilities personnel maintaining the Washington Soldiers Home and cemetery’s more than 180-acre grounds, having a big group of volunteers like this come in and help out with regular maintenance and special projects is a big deal.
Terry Nisbet, Director of Recreation Therapy and Volunteer Coordinator at the Washington Soldiers Home, says, “The partnership with Comcast with the Comcast Cares Day helps meet the ongoing need for the maintenance and beautification of the Washington Soldiers Home and cemetery. Comcast Cares Day is a great opportunity for Comcast and the Washington Soldiers Home to ensure needed goods and services are provided, which have a direct impact on the wellness and quality of life for resident veterans their families.” Having the community come together like this helps foster what Nisbet calls a “culture of gratitude and giving back to veterans.”
“These projects bring local businesses and community groups together in an environment of gratitude to give thanks and honor our local veterans,” adds Suarez. “It is also an opportunity for the community to identify again with the Washington Soldiers Home as it had in the past.”
Doolittle, Olson and the entire Comcast Cares Day team are excited for this year’s event, which takes place on Saturday, April 25, and they encourage community members interested in making a difference to join them in their effort. Community volunteers of all ages and skill level are invited to participate. “It’s a wonderful opportunity to give back,” says Olson.
Community members interested in joining Comcast and the Washington Soldiers Home for Comcast Cares Day on Saturday, April 25, can find out more information and register to volunteer online at www.comcastinthecommunity.com.