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(NECN: Lauren Collins, Manchester, NH) - Every year, NECN's parent company, Comcast Cable, sets aside one day of service. It's a chance for employees throughout the company to reach out to our neighbors.
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At this Hedgehog Park, and at dozens of other sites across New England, "we're gearing up for our 9th annual Comcast Cares Day," smiles Sue Wante, Area Vice President for Comcast's Boston and New Hampshire regions.
The day of service draws Comcast employees and their families to painting projects, clean-ups, food, clothing, and blood drives in support of their communities. In Salem, New Hampshire, more than a hundred volunteers plan to spend Saturday clearing trails and making repairs at Hedgehog Park.
"This area was severely affected by the wind and rain storms in February," explains Wante.
"In these tough, difficult financial times, it's a real pleasure to have been chosen by Comcast," says State Representative Bob Elliot, (R-Salem).
A down economy means a significant uptick in the number of organizations that ask for help. Fortunately the volunteer spirit keeps up the pace.
"Our teams really mobilize every year," says Wante. "They get very energized about giving back to the communities where we live and work."
There's no better example than Chris Larcome, who works in Comcast's finance division and wouldn't be any less of a person if he sat this one out.
"I ran the Boston marathon on Monday. It was a great experience. Not as good as this one though."
Across New England, nearly five thousand of his colleagues and their families are signed up for Saturday's efforts.
"And in fact," Wante says, "across the country tomorrow we hope to have nearly 50,000 volunteers donating over 370,000 volunteer hours."
Added up over the last 8 years, those hours have made a significant difference on Comcast's neighbors.
"Certainly," says Rep. Elliot, "the people in Salem, New Hampshire, thank you very very much."