As Americans prepare to celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday, it's a good reminder for many during the "giving season" to lend a hand to those less fortunate, and to join efforts to revitalize communities in need of help. Many in fact are already doing so through philanthropic initiatives led by America's broadband providers. Very few industries have the reach that cable ISPs have when it comes to interacting with residents in every region of the country. They connect with communities everyday not just through their internet services and products, but through community events, partnerships, and school functions. Through foundation work, grant giving, partnership collaboration, and company-wide volunteer efforts, cable operators have a long-standing commitment to seeing the communities they serve thrive and grow.
While it's nearly impossible to include every philanthropic program or activity underway, below are a just a few of the initiatives led by America's ISPs year-round to improve the lives of their customers and communities.
Charter, also known as Spectrum, began holding an annual "Community Impact Day" last year in which employees and customers get together in different regions to volunteer either through repairing homes, distributing safety and healthy home kits, or participating in community resource fairs. Volunteers come together to support Charter's national philanthropic initiative, Spectrum Housing Assist, to help fix up homes in communities that need it most, especially in areas that have been hit by natural disasters. To date, volunteers have fixed up nearly 36,000 homes.
Comcast is now in its 18th year of hosting Comcast Cares Day, one of the largest corporate commitments to volunteerism in the country. The initiative has rallied more than one million volunteers to help strengthen communities worldwide. The entire company comes together each spring and encourages its employees and customers to revitalize schools, parks, community centers, and assemble care packages for needy families, among other efforts. The ISP works alongside its numerous nonprofit partners, including Boys & Girls Clubs of America, National Urban League, and Big Brothers Big Sisters of America to complete its series of community developments and beautification projects. Comcast also has a foundation that contributes approximately $20 million per year to nonprofits dedicated to digital literacy and community service in the areas it serves.
Cox organizes local giving initiatives in its various markets nationwide by providing cash grants, in-kind donations, and public service announcements that support youth, technology and education, diversity initiatives, and numerous community projects. Through its charitable arm, Cox Charities, which is employee-funded and directed, the ISP offers "Innovation in Education" grants to encourage programs and curriculum that enhance the educational experience of students, as well as community investment grants. Over $7.6 million have been donated to local communities through Cox Charities.
GCI has donated more than $10 million in cash, products, scholarships, and grants to Alaska organizations over the past 5 years, totaling about $2 million per year. The causes it supports include a range of services that improve the lives of Alaskans, such as through suicide prevention and mental health awareness, and encouraging volunteerism for food banks across the state. Each month, GCI partners with a different nonprofit to promote a worthy cause for Alaskans.
Mediacom organizes company-wide food drives and blood drives to contribute towards critical relief efforts, as well as their "Adopt a Unit" drive, in which the ISP provides soldiers in Afghanistan with much needed supplies. Another big cause it contributes towards is breast cancer research and awareness on Lee Denim Day every year. Mediacom also supports community arts and cultural programs and experiences for students through its Mediacom Arts and Culture Foundation, which works with nonprofits and schools to award funding for special project requests.
Midco’s foundation funds charitable organizations within its service areas twice a year for causes that support youth and family services, violence intervention, housing services, schools, homeless shelters, and other community-centered issues. The ISP's charitable arm has awarded grants over the past 30 years to projects that support community facility improvements, local governments, schools, and nonprofits.