We’re still buzzing with the excitement of last Saturday. It’s not just the work, but it’s spirit of the folks who came and the shared effort!
Saturday, April 30 dawned to several inches of wet snow on the Center’s grounds, and temperatures in the mid-30s. The rain mixed with snow continued all morning and afternoon, but it was Comcast Cares Day 2016 and dozens of Comcast employee-volunteers and their families showed up anyway to work on our landscaping and other tasks. They came because they said they would, and because this event is one of the largest corporate-sponsored volunteer programs in the US. It’s obviously the people – the employees and their families – who truly make it a huge success.
“It’s beautiful,” Kimberly McCutcheon said as things packed up before noon. “It would have taken us years to get all of this done!”
Last year, more than 900 nonprofits benefited from the coordinated efforts of more than 100,000 Comcast employees who volunteered on a Saturday. In our neck of the woods alone this year, The Action Center and the Boys and Girls Clubs were on the agenda for Comcast Cares Day in the south Metro area, along with the Colorado Center for the Blind.
By 7:30 a.m., the Center’s meeting room was full of people drinking coffee and juice, eating Danishes and collecting this year’s Comcast Cares T-shirts. Outside, the two Comcast organizers, Deb and Tori, had set up a canopy and table as command post, and dozens more volunteers continued to arrive, greeting each other with friendly ribbing and laughter. When Abner showed up in shorts he attracted much of the good-natured attention.
“It’s a nice spring day,” was his smiling rejoinder.
Notably, Abner wore his 2004 Comcast Cares Day T-shirt. He’s been on hand for every one of them since then. The very first was held in 2001.
After some initial remarks from Rydne Williams, Vice President of Field Operations in Comcast’s southern Colorado region, and Littleton City Council member Peggy Cole, the work got underway with gusto, under the able direction of Deb and Tori. Dave Krook was also there. He is the Director of Installations in this area. All these folks came to get their hands dirty, too.
What They Did
Shortly after 8 a.m., the chilly, damp air outside the Center resounded with the scraping of shovels in gravel and rakes and brooms and leaf blowers and a lot of laughter. They pulled weeds, cleaned up leaves and other debris in our front rock garden and along the front of the building. They put in new planter boxes, spread two tons of landscaping rock, picked up trash blown in over the winter, cleaned up our Legacy garden, put in some new landscaping timbers, planted dozens of perennials and pansies, painted over some ancient graffiti on one of the sheet metal air-handling units on the roof, and replaced stained ceiling tiles in the lobby. They even gave us a new flag – ours had gotten rather tattered in the winter elements. Comcast covered the costs of all the materials.
Inside the kids made play dough and painted rocks, the latter laid out in the rock garden before they went home.
On one of my many trips in and out I found half a dozen older kids examining the brochure racks in the lobby.
“Be sure to ask if you have any questions,” I offered.
“Can you read this,” one of them asked, handing me a a Summer Youth brochure in Braille. I read it to them.
“That’s so legit!” exclaimed Jania.
So we held an impromptu lesson on the history and use of Braille. Before long the kids were writing their names in Braille on the Perkins at the front desk, then passing out Braille alphabet cards to all the younger kids, too.
And then about 10:15 a truck pulled up full of Jason’s Deli sandwiches and everybody broke for lunch. The final tasks were completed after eating, and then everything cleaned up and packed up.
The amount of work accomplished was amazing, but the lasting impression of Comcast Cares Day 2016 for us at the Center was the joy and the community of the Comcast employees. It was a family event. It was a fun event. They came in the snow, they left us flowers and they went on with their Saturday.
We went on with ours too, but buzzing well into the week. So we want to send one last, big thank-you to everyone! It’s great to be part of this shared community!