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American Red Cross' giving spirit comes full circle

(From left) Organizers Julie Wall, Comcast technical operations supervisor, and Bev Dage, manager of technical operations, load brush into the bed of a truck as part of Comcast Cares Day Saturday. - Janet Heath courtesy photo
(From left) Organizers Julie Wall, Comcast technical operations supervisor, and Bev Dage, manager of technical operations, load brush into the bed of a truck as part of Comcast Cares Day Saturday.
— image credit: Janet Heath courtesy photo

While American Red Cross officials are used to lending a helping hand to those in need in the community, it was a completely different scene at the Bremerton office Saturday.

Comcast employees and their friends and families came out in full force April 25 to help spruce up the building and grounds of the American Red Cross West Sound Service Center in downtown Bremerton. About 45 volunteers rolled up their sleeves for an afternoon of landscaping, painting and pressure washing as part of the annual Comcast Cares Day.

"It's so amazing to see all of these people volunteering their time for the Red Cross," said Janet Heath, West Sound American Red Cross director. "We are truly fortunate there is such community spirit locally."

Many of the volunteers were happy to help out a local cause such as the Red Cross. Some had even volunteered directly with the nonprofit organization in the past.

Comcast employee Nicole Cuevas was one of those who has volunteered for the local Red Cross through the AmeriCorps program. Her daughter Nature and son Dorian made volunteering a family day as they helped paint the training room and later helped with landscape work outside.

"I came out because I enjoy hanging out with fellow coworkers and I know the Red Cross is a good cause," Nicole Cuevas said.

This year's Comcast volunteers in Bremerton were part of the more than 2,000 other employees and their families and friends who donated their time at 15 sites throughout the state.

“At Comcast, we place a high priority on giving back to the communities around us,” said Len Rozek, Comcast senior vice president of Washington state. “Comcast Cares Day gives us the unique opportunity to introduce positive change to Washington state on a grand scale. We couldn’t be more proud off all the Comcast employees who are volunteering their time and talents to places all over the state. We're very excited to be working with Kitsap County’s Red Cross."

For Comcast Technical Supervisor Shane Atwater, Saturday marked his fifth Comcast Cares event. It was the first time, however, he brought his sons, Alec and Avery.

"It's good to involve my family and show them what it's like to give and share and be part of our community," Shane Atwater said.

The West Sound Service Center was built in 1960 and was in need of a facelift, according to Heath.

"The landscaping is really an issue for us; our jobs get so hectic and it's hard to keep up on it. It looks really good now," she said. "There were literally people of all ages. It was such an amazing crew of folks who came out to volunteer their time."

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