“Be My Neighbor Day” honors Fred Rogers by celebrating family volunteerism

United Way encourages local families to have fun while helping neighbors

United Way of Southwestern PA, in partnership with The Fred Rogers Company and WQED, presents its annual “Be My Neighbor Day.” On Saturday, March 19, 2016, hundreds of families will help their neighbors by participating in fun, free volunteer activities at four local YMCAs. 

“Fred Rogers dedicated his life to helping children, so we are proud to partner with The Fred Rogers Company and WQED to teach the importance of volunteerism to families in our region,” said Lois Mufuka Martin, chief volunteer engagement officer, United Way of Southwestern PA.  “Joining local families together to have fun and do good makes our entire community stronger.”

A celebration of family volunteerism in the spirit of Fred Rogers, “Be My Neighbor Day” activities will support United Way’s core focus areas, including helping local kids in need, struggling families, senior citizens and people with disabilities.

“Be My Neighbor Day reinforces the values of kindness, caring, and gratefulness that are at the core of Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood,” said Paul Siefken, vice president, broadcast and digital media for The Fred Rogers Company. “A day like this can bring family members closer and can spark meaningful discussions about important personal and social issues.”

“Be My Neighbor Day” volunteer activities include: planting sunflower seeds for neighbors; assembling test-taking kits for local middle school students; learning about the importance of physical activity; decorating a recycled t-shirt to be sewn into a blanket for a local vet; creating greeting cards to brighten the day of a senior; supporting struggling families by donating unopened packages of diapers; and more. Attendees can also meet Daniel Tiger of the PBS series Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood.

“WQED is proud to partner with The Fred Rogers Company and United Way to celebrate family volunteerism through Be My Neighbor Day,” said Deborah L. Acklin, president and CEO of WQED Multimedia. “Fred Rogers’ legacy of neighborliness and helping others is being passed to new generations, and his work continues to impact the world.”

Those interested in participating on Saturday, March 19, are encouraged to visit uwswpa.org/events/attend-be-my-neighbor-day for more information and register at one of four locations: Homewood Brushton YMCA (9:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.); Western Area YMCA (9:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.); Baierl YMCA (2 p.m. – 4 p.m.); Sampson Family YMCA (2 p.m. – 4 p.m.).

About United Way of Southwestern PA – United Way of Southwestern Pennsylvania, serving Allegheny, Westmoreland, Fayette and Southern Armstrong counties, leads and mobilizes the caring power of individuals, the business community and organizations to help local people in need measurably improve their lives. United Way creates long-lasting change for the betterment of our community.

About The Fred Rogers Company – The company was founded by Fred Rogers in 1971 as the non-profit producer of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood for PBS. In the years that followed, it not only created hundreds of episodes of this much-loved program, but also extended Fred’s values and approach to other efforts in promoting children’s social, emotional and behavioral health and supporting parents, caregivers, teachers and other professionals in their work with children. The Fred Rogers Company continues to build on Fred’s legacy in innovative ways through a wide variety of media, and engaging new generations of children and families with his timeless wisdom. The company’s highly rated, award-winning children’s series include Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood, Peg + Cat, and Odd Squad. For more information, visit us at www.fredrogers.org <http://www.fredrogers.org/> .

About WQED – WQED Pittsburgh has a proud history of honors, including 151 National and Mid-Atlantic Emmy® Awards, an Academy Award, and many, many others, including three Emmy® Awards for Station Excellence. WQED was founded in 1954 as the nation’s first community-supported broadcaster.  WQED changes lives by creating and sharing outstanding public media that educates, entertains, and inspires.  It is the parent company of WQED-TV (PBS); WQED World; WQED Create; WQED Showcase; Classical WQED-FM 89.3/Pittsburgh; Classical WQEJ-FM 89.7/Johnstown; the Pittsburgh Concert Channel at WQED-HD2 (89.3-2FM) and online at www.wqed.org/fm <http://www.wqed.org/fm> ; local and national television and radio productions; WQED Interactive (www.wqed.org <http://www.wqed.org/> ) and iQ: smartmedia, WQED’s Educational initiative (www.wqed.org/edu <http://www.wqed.org/edu> ).