On Saturday, April 21 city neighborhoods will get some love and a fresh coat of paint.
About 125 employees from Comcast NBCUniversal will meet up at 7:30 a.m. for “Comcast Cares Day” at S.A.Y. Detroit Play Center, 19320 Van Dyke Ave.
For 17 years “Comcast Cares Day” has seen corporate volunteers go out and make an impact in the community. Detroit’s Seven Mile Road and Van Dyke neighborhood will be one of 1,000 projects across the country in 2018.
“Detroit’s east side, Seven Mile-Van Dyke business corridor is one of the city’s priority locations to renovate and revitalize,” says Rob Ponto, Comcast senior public relations manager. “This volunteer work will augment ongoing area revitalization projects with a focus on public space identified by the city, in connection with nonprofits and businesses that support the area.”
With a 30-year history in metro Detroit, it’s not surprising that Comcast Cares Days are only part of the work Comcast does in the region, including support in the Flint community. All year long employees volunteer to teach digital literacy skills and wire community centers and libraries, mentor youth, and beautify parks. So Comcast Cares Day is really just a spotlight of the company’s continuous volunteerism across the country.
“They were very compassionate and very helpful, and honestly, we had a great time,” says Mike Dingler, Comcast’s tech ops manager for Flint.The Michigan program is made up of 29 statewide projects that extend from April 14 to April 21. One such effort happened April 18 when Comcast employees visited The Food Bank of Eastern Michigan, in Flint. While Comcast volunteers in Flint every year, previously working with groups like the Boys and Girls Club, Wednesday marked the first time the company assisted the Food Bank.
During his service in the city Dingler has noticed a symbiosis between the company and the community.
“What affects Flint affects us,” he says.
When Comcast reached out to the Food Bank it learned that the organization accepts volunteers every day of the week. Including Flint and Genesee, Food Bank of Eastern Michigan supports non-profits and charitable organizations in 22 counties, distributing to pantries, soup kitchens and churches.
Comcast volunteers will return to the Food Bank of Eastern Michigan at 7:30 a.m. Saturday, April 21 to package goods. The community is welcome to join the effort at 2300 Lapeer Road in Flint.
Saturday’s additional community outreach sites will include:
- Affirmations, 290 West Nine Mile Road, Ferndale (7:30 a.m.) – Volunteers will assist by painting the stairwell railings, cleaning the library and planting flowers.
- The ARC Macomb, 44050 N. Gratiot Ave., Clinton Township (7:30 a.m.) – Volunteers will weed-proof a rock area and paint some office spaces.
- Cascades Humane Society, 1515 Carmen Dr., Jackson, Mich. (7:30 a.m.) – Volunteers will clean kennel cages, tidy up and landscape around the complex and dog-walk area.
At all events people from across the community are encouraged to stop by and lend a hand – no Comcast pay stub is required. Even Mayor Mike Duggan will be at a site in Detroit, along with David L. Cohen, Comcast senior executive vice president and chief diversity officer.
Cohen picks one location to get him more personally involved every Comcast Cares Day, and this year he picked Motown. He chose Detroit, in part, to honor the 30-year relationship between the city and company, but says he’s also impressed with revitalization efforts in the city.
Cohen will award $25,000 grants to local non-profits, but recipients won’t be announced until Saturday morning.
“As we celebrate our 17th annual Comcast Cares Day, we’re partnering with several nonprofit organizations that do such important work in our community,” says Tim Collins, Comcast senior vice president for the Heartland Region, including Michigan. “It’s inspiring what’s possible when thousands of volunteers donate their time to make a difference in the lives of others. I am very thankful for the participants who believe in giving back and who are helping to make this effort a success today and throughout the year.”