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Seattle International District to welcome over 500 Comcast Cares Day volunteers

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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
• 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!”

“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.”

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. There are a dozen other sites in Washington where employees are volunteering, totaling more than 2,000 volunteers around the state. You can learn more about projects in Spokane, Tacoma, and other parts of the state here.
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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 www.comcast.com/community.

To follow Comcast Cares Day activities in real time through social media, visit the @ComcastWA Twitter feed. The nationwide hashtag for all communities and social media platforms is #CCDay. We're chronicling stories and pictures about the projects, as they happen, through Storify.

Here's more about some of the groups mentioned in this post:

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: 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: 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: 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.

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