A Post-Gazette article published on March 13 claimed the spirit of Fred Rogers is slowly disappearing from Pittsburgh (“Another Fred Rogers Reminder Walks Out the Door”).
This week, in particular, it feels like his legacy is more alive than ever.
On March 20, Fred Rogers’ birthday, United Way of Allegheny County, in partnership with The Fred Rogers Company, will honor 11 local companies as part of “Fred Rogers’ Good Neighbor Day” for their incredible commitment to workplace volunteerism. Thousands of local employees spend countless hours helping people across our community throughout the year as middle school mentors, free income tax preparation volunteers, Open Your Heart to a Senior volunteers and through participation in Days of Caring.
On March 22, hundreds of local families will gather with Daniel Tiger from the PBS series “Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood” at four area YMCAs to celebrate “Be My Neighbor Day.” The event, inspired by an episode of “Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood,” brings Rogers’ indomitable legacy and his message of kindness, generosity and respect to a new generation of children. Families will practice being neighborly by learning about acts of kindness, working together on projects to benefit their local communities and enjoying other fun activities together. In addition, in honor of Rogers’ signature attire, families are encouraged to bring a new or gently used sweater to help local families in need.
Fred Rogers dedicated his life to spreading goodness, love and respect to so many people. He inspired a generation through his wonderful example of selflessness and caring.
His work and his message live on in the collective and specific actions of all the organizations, families and individuals who give of themselves to help others every day. Specifically, United Way relies on more than 3,000 volunteers who give more than 36,000 hours a year of their time to help their neighbors in need.
We, as Pittsburghers, take care of each other. We are fortunate that Mister Rogers was our neighbor. He showed us how to help each other to build strong communities. His legacy and spirit live on, and will continue to shine, in the hearts and souls of each person who reaches out to help a neighbor.
Volunteer Initiatives Director
United Way of Allegheny County