Community change happens from the ground up.
This understanding drives Comcast to invest in the communities in which its employees live—and to sponsor a day of volunteering in those communities each year.
On May 4, 125 Bellingham-area Comcast employees and family members spent the day volunteering at Camp Korey, a local nonprofit that offers outdoor activities for kids living with life-altering medical conditions and their families. Every year for the past 18 years, Comcast hosts a day of volunteerism, dubbed Comcast Cares Day, where their employees dedicate their time to giving back to their communities.
One of Comcast’s core values is employee volunteerism and Comcast Cares Day grew out of that dedication to become an annual celebration of that commitment, says Carla Carrell, the director of government and external affairs for Comcast.
“It evolved to be something much bigger than what was originally anticipated,” Carrell says. “It’s great to work at an organization that not only says, ‘We want you to volunteer and be part of your community,’ but they actually put the resources toward that.”
This year, Comcast employees spent their Saturday doing a variety of jobs at the new Camp Korey facility, which sits on 200 acres in Mount Vernon and was purchased in 2016. Volunteers painted and cleaned bathrooms, put together bunk beds, built fences and teepees, and did other maintenance jobs to help the camp prepare for its summer season.
Carrell and her kids, along with a group of other kids and their mothers, spent the day planting about 50 trees.
Camp Korey hosts over 1,000 children and families each summer. They offer day-, weekend- and week-long camps. The overnight, week-long camps are open to children between the ages of seven and 18. They will offer eight different sessions this summer with a different medical focus during each camp. This emphasis allows kids to connect with others whose experience is similar to their own and offers them a camp experience where they are allowed to feel typical.
During the weekend camps, the children’s families join them at, and these gatherings are open to kids of all ages who are accompanied by their parents. The weekend camps not only offer a fun escape for the kids, but also a break for their parents who are often constantly on call for their children.
At all the camps, Camp Korey offers specialized medical support for over 30 medical conditions to ensure the children are safe while they’re there. All the camps are entirely free to the children and families that attend.
They are very grateful for the support they received through Comcast Cares Day, Camp Korey CEO/Executive Director Jay Henningsen wrote in a statement.
“Their team has saved us at least a month of work for our staff and helped us tackle some new improvements,” Henningsen says. “After this long winter weather, the Comcast Cares Day volunteers have helped ensure the safety of our campers and increased our ability to adapt programming for kids so they can embrace the joy and adventure of camp.”
Camp Korey was originally founded in 2005 by Tim Rose and his family to honor their son, Korey Rose, an 18-year-old who lost his battle with bone cancer. They founded the camp to honor their son’s memory and provide a safe place for families experiencing similar challenges to have fun. The new Mount Vernon property is allowing them to expand their services, and the volunteer hours from Comcast helped to build out more of the new property.
Comcast Cares Day began in 2001. Last year, they surpassed their one millionth volunteer mark and over 10,000 projects completed around the world. Employees at the Comcast field offices throughout Washington state organized their own projects over the weekend.