By Ardella Darst
March 19, 2009
Since its founding in 1963, Comcast Corporation has maintained an unwavering commitment to the communities it serves, both in Michigan and across the country. Helping organizations in the areas in which our employees and customers live and work is an integral part of the Comcast business philosophy. We also place a high priority on creating a positive work experience for each of our employees and generating an environment that allows each to contribute to the best of his or her ability.
One program of particular value in bringing these two philosophies together here in Michigan is our annual national day of service, Comcast Cares Day. Each spring, Comcast employees, friends and family join together for this coordinated volunteer effort dedicated to helping nonprofit organizations around the nation. In Michigan alone, dozens of organizations across the state have benefited from the efforts of thousands of Comcast volunteers during past campaigns.
Volunteers engage in team-building activities like beautifying buildings and campuses, collecting and sorting food for the hungry, creating stuffed animals to bring joy to ill children and generally lending a hand to some of Michigan’s most important community organizations. In the weeks leading up to Comcast Cares Day, Comcast facilities across the state host events ranging from blood drives to canned food collection efforts to generate excitement. Comcast volunteers across Michigan donated more than 16,800 hours of service in 2008 alone.
For Comcast, Comcast Cares Day is more than just a day to get employees out of the office and into the community. It is an opportunity for us to engage employees in activities benefiting causes that matter to them. The organizations aided by Comcast Cares Day efforts are the same nonprofits the neighbors and families of our employees often look to for valuable education, enrichment, recreation and more. By reaching out to these organizations with donations of time and other resources, Comcast is able to clearly demonstrate sincere appreciation for its employees and for the things they hold dear.
Further, Comcast Cares Day is an opportunity to actively engage employees in a company philosophy that cannot be contained in new recruit orientation sessions, corporate memos or even executive speeches. Members of the Comcast family “get their hands dirty” (often literally) working side by side with colleagues from all levels of the organization as they strive toward a common goal - making the community a better place to live.
Comcast’s demonstration of this appreciation for the Michigan communities where our employees and customers live and work does not end with Comcast Cares Day. Each year, Comcast awards numerous grants to community organizations through the Comcast Foundation. In 2008 alone, these grants totaled nearly $150,000.
Employees also appreciate our support for the continuing education of Michigan youth. Through the Comcast Foundation, 139 Michigan high school seniors were each awarded a $1,000 scholarship in 2008 as part of the Comcast Leaders and Achievers program and thousands of other students enjoyed an advanced learning environment because of the Comcast Cable in the Classroom initiative, which brings news and educational programming into Michigan classrooms.
Comcast Cares Day and the other Comcast community outreach programs help build strong teams by instilling a sense of belonging and common purpose throughout the entire Comcast organization. Together, by working to support commonly valued community organizations, Comcast helps every employee in every department to feel connected to the efforts of the larger organization. Through these efforts, we ensure employees are part of and are aware of their employer’s commitment to the organizations and communities contributing to their quality of life.
Ardella Darst is vice president of human resources at Comcast Michigan Region, a 2008 elite winner in the Recruitment and Selection category of Metro Detroit’s 101 Best and Brightest Companies to Work For.