By Andrea Kjaer
When Lawrence Bell Jr. attended his company’s fundraiser with United Way several years ago, he noticed the program wasn’t quite reaching his fellow coworkers. He knew some of his colleagues had talents and decided to see if he could bring them onstage for a good cause. It started with a few people singing and playing instruments, and from there it grew to include other performers, like comedians—all from the workplace.
“It really engaged the office,” Lawrence, who also goes by LB, said. “When they heard people they knew and related to talk about United Way and the individuals it has helped, they wanted to help too.”
United Way’s presence has been felt in a personal way by a few of LB’s coworkers. After one of their homes burned down, the charitable organization gave assistance until they found new housing.
LB, a TechOps Manager for Comcast in Marietta, Georgia, is regularly involved with both company and personal charity events. He always looks forward to Comcast Cares Day, an annual project focused on parks and recreation improvement, families in need or community betterment.
Organizing a charitable company event brings a lot of helping hands to the table, LB explains. The work isn’t technical, but it can give a struggling budget freedom to spend money on things that are harder to obtain and even more important.
“And it’s fun,” LB said. “It was a good time, like a party, with everybody there, even a radio station.”
LB kept the good times rolling in 2016 by involving his technicians in Red Nose Day, an annual event where people across the US get a little silly for charity at home, school and work. LB has kept the spirit of giving—and the photographic evidence—alive on a bulletin board in the Marietta office to raise awareness (and a few chuckles) until next year.
As a former military member, LB knows that transitioning to civilian life can be disorienting, and he’s helped other veterans find direction by facilitating a partnership with HR. For the past several years, he has participated in a recruitment fair at Fort Gordon in Augusta, Georgia.
“I want [the veterans] to know they have choices, options and opportunities,” LB said. “Wherever they go, I want them to find a good place for themselves.”
Mentorship is important to LB. He came from a good family, but they didn’t have much financially. Growing up, he became aware of some of the things he didn’t have. As he worked hard and found success, he was able to give more to his kids, but realized that he wanted to be able to make a difference in other children’s lives as well.
One of the easiest ways for him to reach out is through his love of sports—particularly basketball. He’s worked for years as a coach for his daughter’s basketball team, which is part of Each One Teach One (EOTO), a nationally recognized organization.
“[The difference] doesn’t usually come from the big things I do. A kid will come back later and tell me something I said that I might not even have been paying attention to, but it made a difference over the semester or in the season,” he said.
Inclusivity is important to LB. He has worked to bring more women into a traditionally male-dominated field, and is proud that he has more women on his team than any other of the nearby markets. He also is an active member of the National Association for Multi-Ethnicity in Communications.
Clearly, LB’s community involvement is a sturdy pillar that supports every aspect of his life. His commitment to giving back recently earned him the title of “Ambassador of the Month” within Comcast’s Big South region.
When asked about the legacy he hopes to leave, LB said, “You have to set a path for yourself. Make sure you maintain it, and make sure you are fair to everyone.”
Images courtesy of Lawrence Bell, Jr.