by Tyler Jones, AmeriCorps VISTA serving at City Year New Hampshire
Comcast Cares Day is one of the largest annual volunteer opportunities in the world. Since 2001, this day of community service has engaged over one million volunteers in projects like mural painting, tree planting, gardening and light construction. Employees of Comcast NBCUniversal, as well as their friends, families and community partners, volunteer at more than 1,000 project sites in nearly two dozen countries around the globe. City Year New Hampshire has been a proud participant in Comcast Cares Day for almost a decade, and has enjoyed beautifying our community and schools alongside Comcast employees of the Northeast Region through this day of service.
This year, a Comcast Cares Day site was McDonough Elementary School, one of the eight schools where City Year New Hampshire AmeriCorps members serve. Projects for the day included painting math-themed murals in staircases and games on the blacktop in the recess area, landscaping the outdoor spaces and building birdhouses and benches. 175 volunteers came together to participate in these projects, totaling 700 hours of service and contributing $17,283 worth of volunteer time. This day of service was a great chance for members of the Manchester community to interact with City Year AmeriCorps members and learn about their service in schools while working side-by-side to improve one of the schools that City Year directly impacts.
It was also an opportunity for the City Year team serving at McDonough Elementary School to step into leadership roles on various project tasks required to keep this day of service running smoothly. The seven City Year team members serving at McDonough served as point people throughout the day, acting as the heads of their respective projects and answering questions from volunteers. They also spent time prior to Comcast Cares Day prepping the school for service.
While City Year New Hampshire AmeriCorps members are most often providing in-school service to students and partner teachers, days of physical service like Comcast Cares Day are welcomed ways to interact with the greater community and add to the City Year experience. Having the chance to give back to our community in new and varied ways while also engaging volunteers from around Manchester makes Comcast Cares Day one of the highlights of any City Year New Hampshire AmeriCorps member’s year of service.