Asian Counseling & Referral Service’s Clients Enjoy Benefits of Comcast Cares Day

Comcast Cares Day Seattle 2014 International District rockmoving Comcast Cares Day Seattle 2014 International District wheelbarrows International District Seattle Comcast Cares Day 2014 CCDay_Seattle_2014_ACRS path CCDay_Seattle_2014_dragon CCDay_Seattle_2014_LenRozekThis is shared, with permission, from the Asian Counseling and Referral Service newsletter. To see more photos of the event by www.CBBELL.complease click here.

It’s been more than a decade since the ACRS Food Bank got a major overhaul. Over time, countless feet have shuffled in and out of the trailer, down a traffic-worn wooden ramp. Seattle weather faded the sign outside and peeled the paint.

And the line of clients waiting along the King Street I-5 underpass gets longer and longer every year.

So you can imagine how excited long-time Food Bank coordinator Karen Jackel was when she learned that hundreds of volunteers would be showing up to fix up her pride and joy.

“I felt like I won the makeover lottery,” Jackel said. “It’s just amazing to see in one day, with everybody together, what a difference and change they could make.”

On April 26th, about 600 volunteers spent their Saturday beautifying Seattle’s International District as part of the 13th Annual Comcast Cares Day/ID Spring Clean. Fanning out around the historic neighborhood, they tackled 40 projects, like pressure-washing sidewalks, painting over graffiti and sprucing up the Danny Woo Garden

About 50 participants — including 22 ACRS staff, board members, and friends and family — took on the task of renovating ACRS Food Bank.

The Seattle Chinatown-International District Preservation and Development Authority (SCIDpda), the Chinatown-International District Business Improvement Area (CIDBIA), Comcast and UW architecture graduate student Ying-Ju Yeh helped ACRS design a new winding gravel path leading up to the building entrance.

Some of the more handy volunteers tore out the old wood ramp and replaced it with newer composite materials. Others gave the Food Bank a beautiful new red and white (agency colors!) paint job.

“It’s not just about a fresh coat of paint — a new exit ramp and garden path outside the Food Bank will help create a safer and more comforting environment for the hundreds of hungry people who line up for hours outside our doors,” said ACRS Executive Director Diane Narasaki.

The day definitely included some hard labor.

“We spread out some large rocks. For a very long time,” said Comcast technician John Garland, smiling.

Garland brought his 16-year-old daughter Hali because he wanted to instill in her a spirit of volunteerism.

“There’s some people that are less fortunate than us and it’s nice to help others out,” he said he told her. “Even when we don’t have anything, it’s good to help others out so they can have a better life as well.”

ACRS board member Daniel Chun agreed. He and his sons Solomon, 10, and William, 9, spent the day raking and carrying rocks along the underpass.

“Cleaning up the ACRS Food Bank provided an excellent opportunity for me to expose my boys in giving back to the community with the resources they currently have,” Chun said. “I figure learning to be generous with your time and energy now would be a gateway to giving financially and loving compassionately as they mature into adulthood.”

On top of all these projects, Comcast service centers collected about 2,000 pounds of rice, ramen and other non-perishable goods in a regional food drive leading up to the event.

Jackel says she’s already seen an uplift in morale, not just with the clients but with the staff too.

“[Clients] have been using the path, and it’s not blocking the sidewalk from normal traffic,” Jackel said, “and when they saw the change of color and the new sign, some of the volunteers on their first day back even asked, ‘Am I at the right food bank?’”

 

Fung Brothers Homecoming and Comcast Cares Day

 

 

When we decided to spruce up the International District as part of Comcast Cares Day on April 26th, it seemed only fitting that we invite the Fung Brothers to join us.

Gallons of paint, hours of footage and hundreds of bahn mi sandwiches and one impromptu parade  later(hint, you will see the boys on the back of a cool convertible rolling through the neighborhood), the Fung Brothers tribute to Seattle’s International District has arrived. Above is the official trailer and here is a link to the full video.

 

Please enjoy and share with your friends. We were glad to do our part.

More than 500 Volunteers Expected to Converge at Seattle’s International District April 26 for Annual Cleanup as Part of Nationwide Comcast Cares Day

Update: the project was an amazing success. You can see the video above for some results, and photographs of the event may be found here.

SEATTLE – On Saturday, April 26, more than 500 community partners, local Comcast employees and their families and friends will “make change happen” as they volunteer to beautify Seattle’s historic International District as part of Comcast’s 13th  annual Comcast Cares Day and the International District “ID” Spring Clean.

Comcast Cares Day, which takes place each April during National Volunteer Month, is Comcast and NBCUniversal’s signature day of service and the nation’s largest single-day corporate volunteer effort. In Seattle, the team will work side by side with key organizations in the “ID” on the Comcast Cares Day International District Spring Clean event.

International District projects include:

  • Giving a much-needed makeover to the vital Asian Counseling and Referral Service Food Bank,
  • Painting over graffiti and cleaning culturally significant art displays in the neighborhood such as the dragon fixtures on light poles and fish designs on the I-5 pillars,
  • Restoring the Danny Woo Community Garden, and
  • Coordinating a neighborhood-wide trash pick-up.

Comcast has worked closely with ID Spring Clean coordinators, the Chinatown-International District Business Improvement Area (CIDBIA), Seattle Chinatown International District Preservation and Development Authority (SCIDpda), and InterIm Community Development Association, among other leading Asian Pacific American non-profit organizations.

“For the first time since it moved to King Street 12 years ago, the ACRS Food Bank is getting a new look,” said Diane Narasaki, executive director of the Asian Counseling and Referral Service (ACRS). “It’s not just about a fresh coat of paint — a new exit ramp and garden path outside the Food Bank will help create a safer and more comforting environment for the hundreds of hungry people who line up for hours outside our doors each week.”

“But the scope of Comcast Cares Day 2014 is so much bigger than one building,” Narasaki continued. “Working to beautify roughly 16 square blocks in one of Seattle’s oldest neighborhoods truly shows the commitment of Comcast and our community partners to the International District and its residents. We are grateful for Comcast’s spirit of volunteerism and passion to better our community.”

“Comcast Cares Day is an outstanding gift to Seattle through the hands-on investment and ‘sweat equity’ of Comcast’s employees,” said Andrea Akita, executive director of Interim Community Development Association, also a Comcast Cares Day/ID Spring Clean partner. “Clean-up and improvements in the Danny Woo Community Garden and other areas of the neighborhood will have a positive impact on the quality of life for residents, and experience for visitors to the International District as well.”

“This an exciting time for the Chinatown-ID,” said Don Blakeney, executive director of the Chinatown International District Business Improvement Area (CIDBIA), an ID Spring Clean leading organization. “With the grand opening of the streetcar, brand-new translated street signs, expanding new park space, and new businesses opening up, it’s great to see so many people take ownership and invest their sweat and effort into this vibrant, historic neighborhood. The residents and businesses of the Chinatown-ID are grateful to have the volunteers from Comcast and other community groups here to beautify the District’s parks, storefronts and public areas just in time for the summer season!”

This year, Comcast expects more than 80,000 Comcast and NBCUniversal volunteers to participate in over 700 projects across the country and around the globe.  Statewide, Comcast is expecting more than 2,000 volunteers at 12 different projects throughout Puget Sound and Spokane County. To date, more than half a million volunteers have contributed over 3 million volunteer hours since Comcast Cares Day started in 2001.

“We’re proud to partner with a number of amazing groups in the International District to improve our community during our 13th Comcast Cares Day,” said Len Rozek, senior vice president of the Comcast Washington Region. “The hard work of the many hundreds of volunteers who will be donating their time to help make such a big difference in the lives of others is inspiring, and I am thankful to all of our participants who are helping to make the day a success.”

The Comcast Foundation will also provide grants to local community partner organizations across the country on behalf of everyone who volunteers on Comcast Cares Day. To date, the Comcast Foundation has awarded more than $14 million in grants to partner organizations to match the efforts of our volunteers on Comcast Cares Day. For more information on Comcast’s volunteer and community investment initiatives, visit http://www.comcast.com/community.

About ACRS

The Asian Counseling and Referral Service (ACRS) is a nationally recognized nonprofit organization offering a broad array of human services and behavioral health programs to Asian Pacific Americans in King County. ACRS is the largest multiservice organization serving all the different Asian Pacific American communities – immigrants, refugees and American born – in the Pacific Northwest. For more information, visit: http://www.acrs.org.

About SCIDPDA

The Seattle Chinatown International District Preservation and Development Authority (SCIDpda) is a neighborhood-based community developer. They were started by the community in 1975 “to preserve, promote and develop the Seattle Chinatown International District as a vibrant community and unique ethnic neighborhood.” They have a 30+-year success record of increasing neighborhood sustainability through innovative programs and projects that balance development and preservation. For more information, visit: http://www.scidpda.org.

About InterIm CDA

InterIm Community Development Association is a nonprofit affordable housing and community development organization based in Seattle’s Chinatown/International District. InterIm CDA provides multi-lingual, culturally competent housing-related and community building services to Asian, Pacific Islander, and immigrant and refugee communities in Seattle. For more information, visit: http://www.interimicda.org.

About the CIDBIA

The Chinatown-International District Business Improvement Area (CIDBIA), founded in 1994, works to improve and promote Seattle’s Chinatown-International District. In addition to providing sanitation services, the CIDBIA coordinates several of the neighborhood’s major events including Dragon Fest, and the Lunar New Year Celebration, in addition to Dragon Fest.  The CIDBIA also advocates on behalf of its constituents with respect to a host of public policy, planning, and quality‐of‐life issues.  For more information about the Chinatown-ID BIA, log onto www.cidbia.org.

About Comcast Corporation
Comcast Corporation (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK) is a global media and technology company with two primary businesses, Comcast Cable and NBCUniversal.  Comcast Cable is the nation’s largest video, high-speed Internet and phone provider to residential customers under the XFINITY brand and also provides these services to businesses.  NBCUniversal operates 30 news, entertainment and sports cable networks, the NBC and Telemundo broadcast networks, television production operations, television station groups, Universal Pictures and Universal Parks and Resorts.  Visit http://www.comcastcorporation.com for more information.

About the Comcast Foundation

The Comcast Foundation was founded by Comcast Corporation in June 1999 to provide charitable support to qualified non-profit organizations. The Foundation primarily invests in programs intended to have a positive, sustainable impact on their communities. The Foundation has three community investment priorities—promoting service, expanding digital literacy, and building tomorrow’s leaders. Since its inception, the Comcast Foundation has donated nearly $140 million to organizations in the communities nationwide that Comcast serves. More information about the Foundation and its programs is available at www.comcast.com/community.

Blood Drives Give Fluid Feel to Comcast Cares Day 2014

Our video manager Ed Hauge visited the Fife blood drive with his camera.

Most people have blood to spare… yet, there is still not enough to go around. People who find it in their heart to donate truly become someone’s hero – in fact, they could help save more than one life with just one donation. In the Comcast Cares Day spirit, coming April 26, Comcast employees recently showed up fully prepared to be heroes.

Although the blood mobiles could only make it to a few select locations,  the Auburn, Fife and Spokane teams filled the vans with over 100 eager volunteers. In Western Washington, Cascade Regional Blood Services helped collect blood and in Spokane Inland Northwest Blood Centers collected onsite.

“The turn-out was phenomenal. And everyone was so willing to help,” said Candace Robson, an administrative assistant in the Fife Call Center. “We were so happy to be a part of this opportunity, and we had so many donors that the team needed leave to get another blood cooler.”

And there’s more to come: the Puyallup office’s blood drive will be Wednesday, April 24.

Written by Karie Houghton a marketing manager at Comcast and one of the organizers of the blood drives. In the photo at the video link above, Robson is on the left and Houghton on the right.

Comcast Cares Day 2014 in Grays Harbor to Focus on Seaport Landing

Posted with the kind permission of the Grays Harbor Historical Seaport Authority. You can read a local news story by KXRO about this project here.

2 tall ships in the water

The work by Comcast Cares Day volunteers will prepare Seaport Landing for the return of the tall ships Lady Washington and Hawaiian Chieftain to Aberdeen on June 5.

More than 100 volunteers are expected to spruce up Seaport Landing 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. April 26 as part of Comcast Cares Day, the nation’s largest single-day corporate volunteer effort that will include 80,000-plus Comcast volunteers participating in more than 700 projects across the country. At Seaport Landing, Comcast employees and their families wearing green “Comcast Cares” T-shirts will construct a railing on the Seaport Landing pier, build picnic tables, and clear brush from the Chehalis River shoreline. Comcast volunteers will return on April 27 to finish work not completed the previous day.

“We’re thrilled to be working with Comcast on this exciting community event,” said Les Bolton, executive director of Grays Harbor Historical Seaport Authority, which owns and operates Seaport Landing. “Comcast employees in Grays Harbor and Pacific counties understand the importance of Seaport Landing to Aberdeen’s future. Their contribution demonstrates strong community support for our plans.”

Everyone in the Grays Harbor area–not just Comcast employees–is welcome to lend a hand. Volunteers are encouraged to register ahead of time at http://www.comcastinthecommunity.com/. A Facebook or Google+ account is required. Volunteers can also register at Seaport Landing, 500 N. Custer St., Aberdeen, at 8 a.m. April 26-27. Volunteers are encouraged to bring gardening tools, such as gloves, rakes, and brooms.

Seaport Landing is a new tourism destination and home port maintenance facility on the Chehalis River in South Aberdeen. GHHSA acquired the 38-acre former sawmill from Weyerhaeuser in 2013. The Historical Seaport is now working with a number of partners on a master plan for the property. Work completed by the Comcast Cares Day participants will prepare Seaport Landing for the return of the tall ships Lady Washington and Hawaiian Chieftain to Aberdeen on June 5. Social media users can follow activities on Comcast Cares Day via the hashtag #CCDay.

The Grays Harbor Historical Seaport Authority is a not-for-profit, 501(c)(3) public development authority based in Aberdeen, Wash. that owns and operates the tall ships Hawaiian Chieftain and Lady Washington, the Official Ship of the State of Washington. GHHSA provides educational, vocational, recreational and ambassadorial activities and experiences that promote and preserve the maritime history of Grays Harbor, the Pacific Northwest, and our nation while serving the needs of the community.

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