Comcast Cares Day Unites the Community in Celebration and Service
Alisa Hyman | 5/4/2018, 6 a.m.
On Saturday, April 21, 2018, hundreds of volunteers, Comcast employees and their families, and several community organizations gathered at Furley Elementary School for the 17th annual Comcast Cares Day, a nationwide day of service dedicated to creating positive change in communities across the country. As structural problems and other building issues are addressed at the original Furley High School, volunteers met at VanGuard Collegiate, Furley’s temporary home, to beautify the campus by creating colorful murals; covering the walls with bright coats of fresh paint; mulching flower pots; planting flowers and trees; and picking up unsightly and unsafe trash from the school playground and playing field.
Comcast Cares Day is an annual celebration and an opportunity to spotlight the company’s year-round commitment to volunteerism that began when the company was founded 55 years ago. Comcast’s community efforts have sponsored a wide range of projects, from teaching digital literacy skills and mentoring youth to partnering with the United Way to pack food boxes and beautifying parks and schools. To date, volunteers have contributed over five million volunteer hours to 8,800 projects. Comcast tries to fill whatever need exists in the community that would make a positive difference in the lives of its residents. “Volunteering is in our DNA, at the core of our company’s culture,” Savannah Isner, Comcast Senior Public Relations Specialist, said. “We are working to ensure that the communities where we live and where our customers live, better.”
The parking lot at Furley was filled to capacity as volunteers appeared bright and early to begin the day of service. The school lobby was flooded with a sea of green Comcast Cares t-shirts, and participants buzzed with excitement. City Councilman Brandon Scott, representing Baltimore City’s 2nd district, believes that Comcast’s community efforts will benefit the most important members of the community—the children—in a very significant way. “We are so grateful to Comcast and all the community partners, sororities, fraternities, and all the other folks that came out today to help improve this building,” he said. “Even though this is a temporary home for our children, we want them to have the best experience possible, so we always appreciate the people who take the time out of their weekends to invest in our children.”
Furley Elementary School principal, Greta Cephus, greeted the volunteers before they were assigned to their projects. “We carefully surveyed the school grounds, the trash that surrounded the building, and other cosmetic issues that needed attention, and we made a list of tasks. Those are the tasks that you have volunteered to complete today. There is enough work for each of you to have a project, which is how you can show the children that you are thinking of them. We couldn’t do any of this without you.” The auditorium erupted in applause.
Seated in the front row of the auditorium, listening attentively for their assignments, were Betty Fasoranti and her granddaughters Jada (age 11) and McKenzie (age 3) Knox. “The principal here is outstanding,” Ms. Fasoranti said. “She is on the pulse of anything and everything needed to make this school better for the children. I think today will let the students know this is not just a school, but a home. Today will give the students hope.”
Jada takes pride in her school. “I want to make my school a better place,” Jada said. “I’m glad to be here today.”
As volunteers were assigned to various tasks, the hallways and lobby were full of laughter. Participants were excited to be participating in such an important community event. The students who were there were thrilled to see the pretty new flowers and bright murals in their new building. People of all ages, cultural backgrounds, and professions gathered together on a sunny Saturday to give their time and service to improving life for hundreds of students. Comcast Cares Day beautified the community in more ways than one. Unity is a beautiful sight to behold, and Comcast Cares Day was the perfect example of the difference that everyday people can make when they are committed to service and will do whatever is necessary to make life brighter in their communities.
“It’s very simple,” Councilmen Scott said. “The only way that our city will be the very best that it can possibly be is if all of us help out. It takes all of us. Not just one person or one organization, but every single person needs to decide that they are committed to doing things for the greater good.”