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Woodford Times - Peoria, IL
  • Comcast Cares brings help to Washington

  • More than 300 Comcast employees, their families, friends and volunteers from the community turned out Saturday for Comcast Cares Day. The day in Washington was one of thousands of projects selected nationwide for Comcast Cares Day.
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  • Michelle DenHamer of Bollingbrook once took insurance calls from victims of Hurricane Katrina.
    “I remember feeling so helpless,” she said. “I wished I could have helped.”
    So, when her current employer Comcast announced it was organizing to spend Saturday in Washington helping victims of the Nov. 17, 2013, tornado, she jumped at the chance.
    More than 300 Comcast employees, their families, friends and volunteers from the community turned out Saturday for Comcast Cares Day. The day in Washington was one of thousands of projects selected nationwide for Comcast Cares Day.
    “There were projects closer to home, but I wanted to come here,” said DenHamer, who now works at Comcast’s call center in Woodridge. “I wanted a chance to help someone rebuild.”
    DenHamer’s sister Nicole, also 
    volunteered.
    “She told me about Comcast’s project and asked if I wanted to go with her. I jumped at the chance,” Nicole DenHamer said. “Because of all the destruction that happened here, I just wanted to come help and pay it forward.”
    The sisters were part of a crew of green-shirted volunteers that were working to remove the subfloor from a house on Flossmoor Avenue Saturday.
    The cable utility will be working with Bethany Community Church to coordinate where the volunteers were sent.
    Washington was selected because so many Comcast employees who were sent to the area to help repair Comcast equipment wanted to return to help, company officials said. 
    Comcast employee Diane Riddle and her daughter Kaitlin, both of Bloomington, had been waiting for an opportunity to come to Washington to help since November.
    “We brought supplies right after through a Comcast drive, but we’ve been wanting to come and actually do some work and lend a hand. This is actually helping,” Diane Riddle said. “This was just the perfect opportunity with the weather changing and the rebuilding getting started.”
    Michelle Contreras, a Comcast employee from Washington, said she volunteers every year for the Comcast Cares day.
    “I was so happy they chose to help Washington,” she said. “I drive through the devastation every day. I wanted to help.”
    Comcast took over a parking lot at Five Points Washington for lunch on Saturday.
    Page 2 of 2 - Ruthe Givler, a Comcast employee from Sugar Grove, said she was looking forward to lunch because of who would be her guest.
    “My cousin lives in Washington and she lost her house,” Givler said. “I am here for a purpose. She is why I came down to help.”
    Givler, who also works at the Woodridge call center, said she heard about the Washington project through Michelle DenHamer.
    “I knew about the destruction, so there was no need to explain what this project was about,” Givler said.
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