Students from the Boys and Girls Club of the Pikes Peak Region will work alongside Comcast Cares Day volunteers and their families on Saturday, April 21 to repair, clean and update key gathering areas in the El Pomar Club, one of the community spaces where the Boys and Girls Club conducts after-school programing for area students year-round.
To hear how Comcast Cares Day volunteers will make an impact, we sat down with Boys and Girls Club of the Pikes Peak Region staff members James Sullivan, President and CEO, Marli Fitzgerald, Development Director, and Jrace Rider, Senior Director.
Comcast: What makes the Boys and Girls Club of the Pikes Peak Region unique?
Sullivan: We are the eighth oldest Club in the country, and we are celebrating our 130th year this year. Our longevity testifies to the great need we fill for our communities, and the great support we have from partners. On an annual basis, we serve more than 1,000 kids ages 5-18 and engage them with age-appropriate programs that are fun and educational.
No matter how their home lives and family units look, our staff works in partnership with each members’ family unit to provide a triangle of support. We give youth a positive place to gather after school. We say when they’re here they’re not “out there,” and “out there” we don’t know what they’re doing.
The El Pomar Club location is on the west side of Colorado Springs and has a very distinct community feel. The Club has excellent support from parents and partners. I attended a Club basketball game on a recent Friday night, and the noise and enthusiasm in the room made me feel like I was at the NBA finals. The Club has great involvement from parents, guardians and the community, so we hope volunteers get a sense of that support.
Comcast: How will this partnership with Comcast Cares Day impact the Club and the members it serves?
Rider: One of the coolest results of the Comcast Cares Day is the sense you get that our community is rallying around our organization and our youth. It’s incredible that so many Comcast employees volunteer with their families. This sends a message to our students that people in the community have a heart to serve others and want to involve their families in making a difference.
This Comcast Cares Day will be special because we’ll have 10-15 students from our Keystone and Torch Club leadership programs helping clean and improve the Club alongside our volunteers. This will give the youth a chance to see volunteers in action, and volunteers a chance to get to know some of the great kids we serve.
Volunteers will work directly with our Club members to add mulch to the obstacle course, fix light fixtures in the gym, lay new carpet in the team room, and complete other updates and cleaning as needed to ensure our Club is a beautiful and functional space for our members and community.
Comcast: In your own words, how can corporate and nonprofit partners work together to influence change?
Sullivan: We appreciate the support of Comcast throughout the year, and Comcast Cares Day is such a tangible expression of the great support that’s offered consistently. The Comcast Internet Essentials program is something many of our students and their families take advantage of, so that is a way a corporation like Comcast is offering a product that serves our population of families directly. When the same corporate partner comes and gets their hands dirty with us at a Club, the partnership really comes full-circle. Comcast is helping us serve our community in multiple ways, and the broader community will benefit.
Fitzgerald: This is a great opportunity for community members and partners to see our Club’s character. We encourage anyone who wants to join us to sign up to volunteer. Any time we can show people what we’re doing first hand, we are grateful for the opportunity. On Comcast Cares Day, all volunteers will understand that it does take a village to provide educational programming for our students, and we all can do our part to make the Club a better place.
Rydne Williams, Comcast vice president of technical operations in southern Colorado, Mary Spillane, Comcast director of Community Impact for the Mountain West Region, with members of the Boys & Girls Club of the Pikes Peak Region during the annual Thanksgiving dinner.