Since I started working at Comcast, I’ve heard a lot about Comcast Cares Day, the annual event that brings together more than 100,000 volunteers to beautify schools, community centers and gardens and non-profit facilities across the country (and, now, it’s even spread around the world).
I had heard that we would work on more than 900 projects in the United States and throughout the world.
I knew that here in California more than 5,000 employees, their families, and friends would gather at 16 sites across our footprint. From Fresno to the North Bay, and from San Francisco to the Sacramento Valley, employees would wear the infamous “green shirt” and get their hands dirty, picking up trash, sweeping, painting, planting new landscapes and refurbishing facilities in numerous other ways.
However, I never imagined that my first Comcast Cares Day event would be so emotional.
I worked at the Discovery Center in Fresno, which is an educational museum of history and science that was founded in 1954. The educational institution offers visitors a hands-on experience to stimulate their curiosity and passion for the environment and the sciences.
The museum, which is located in an economically disadvantaged neighborhood, is a popular site for school field trips. Also, the staff travels to schools throughout the region to deliver presentations to the kids that can’t attend or afford the field trips. In fact, my husband and his sister, who grew up in Fresno, visited the museum when they were kids.
Last Saturday, April 22, during Comcast Cares Day, more than 300 volunteers of all ages went to the Discovery Center and painted fences, installed boxes for strawberry planting, built pens for rabbits and chickens, installed benches and cleaned up the grounds.
What does Cares Day look like? You see little ones who can barely walk holding paint brushes; you see executives, sales representatives and frontline technicians in overalls building and fixing playgrounds; you see co-workers greeting and hugging each other; you see teenagers engaged and smiling. Yeah, you read correctly, engaged teenagers. Wow! You see a big familia who happily woke up early on a Saturday morning to have fun while doing something for their community.
My daughter is only three months old, but soon enough she will be walking around holding a paint brush on Cares Day. In a few years, I will take her to the Discovery Center to play and learn where her father once did. My daughter and thousands of children in and around Fresno, mostly from underserved communities, will benefit from the work we did last Saturday, and that’s something that I will always remember.