Sleeves rolled up and working the gardening edger in her hand, Jessica J. Gappa, Director of Community Impact for Comcast Cable looked out at the picturesque view of Baltimore City from the grounds of Collington Square School.
“When you look out from here, it gives you a real feeling of promise,” said Gappa. “Working together with fellow employees and community members, adds to that feeling. This is a city I love, and having this opportunity to give back is wonderful.”
Glancing around at the scores of volunteers who were cleaning, painting the playground, power-washing, planting, and carrying out other activities, Gappa added, “When you talk about hope, well… this is it.”
Gappa was among the hundreds of Comcast Cable employees, their families, friends and community partners, which included the Baltimore Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. who volunteered to clean and beautify Collington Square’s elementary school, recreation center and neighborhood in Baltimore City as part of the 18th annual Comcast Cares Day.
Ursula V. Battle
Councilwoman Shannon Sneed of District 13 also participated in the event, which was held Saturday, May 4, 2019 at the school, which is located at 1409 N Collington Ave. in Baltimore. Activities also included painting murals (indoor and outdoor) and picking up trash and debris on and around school grounds.
“From the Comcast employee perspective, Comcast Cares Day is a part of my everyday job,” said Gappa. “I live here, work here, and this is where I want to serve. I think that there is something really special about gathering so many community partners together. Great things happen when everyone pitches in and work together. One person can do a lot, but with a collective effort, so much more can be accomplished.”
Comcast Cares Day is one of the largest corporate commitments to volunteerism and service in America. To date, more than 1 million Comcast Cares Day volunteers have contributed over 6 million service hours to improve local communities at more than 10,000 projects.
“Comcast truly cares about our community,” said Gappa. “As an employee, I am proud to be a part of this company.”
Arlene Wongus, president of the Baltimore Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta, said the sorority’s participation aligns with its extensive array of public service initiatives through its Five-Point Programmatic Thrust: Educational Development, Economic Development, International Awareness and Involvement, Physical and Mental Health and Political Awareness and Involvement.
“We are a public service sorority,” said Wongus, who highlighted the efforts of chapter member Cori Ramos. “We have been participating in Comcast Cares for many years. It’s our way of giving back to various communities. We always have a large contingency to participate. As I look around, I get so excited looking at the transformation. I would love to see the students’ faces when they return to school.”
She added, “Environment makes a difference and says, ‘we care’. All it takes is one day to make a tremendous difference in an area. We are all here because we want to help and make a difference.”
Devin Johnson is the principal of Collington Square School.
“It was inspiring to see so many fraternities, sororities, community members, parents and teachers dedicate their time to pour into a beatification project that will have a lasting impact on students,” said Johnson. “It shows them the community cares about the environment in which they live, play and go to school.”
He added, “In addition, several other projects were done, which included installing computer labs and upgrading our food pantry. This shows that people are not only willing to talk about it, but are also willing to put time and sweat into their communities. That was evident today.”
Johnson proudly surveyed the transformation made possible by the volunteers. As he walked outside the building, he was joined by parent Larry Wardlow.
“This made me smile,” said Wardlow.
For more information on Comcast NBCUniversal volunteer and community impact initiatives, visit www.comcast.com/community.