Actor David Newell, better known as Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood character Mr. McFeely talks about a sweater drive during an appearance Sunday at the DuPage Children's Museum in Naperville. . The drive, started in 1992, has collected over 5 million sweaters for people described by Fred Rogers as people who needed a sweaer to keep warm. Mary Beth Nolan~For Sun-Times Media
Updated: February 1, 2013 5:06PM
On Jan. 27, Mr. McFeely of Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood made a “speedy delivery” to DuPage Children’s Museum to launch a monthlong sweater and clothing drive sponsored by the museum. Actor David Newell’s visit was timed to correspond with the closing of the traveling exhibit, “How People Make Things,” inspired by Mr. Rogers’ factory tour segments.
“By bringing Mr. McFeely, we give attention to being a good neighbor and helping those who are less fortunate,” says T.J. Hicks, DuPage Children’s Museum’s director of integrated brand marketing.
Newell was hopeful the event and sweater drive would perpetuate colleague Fred Rogers’ legacy. “We want to keep his philosophy and his approach to childhood and his respect for children in the forefront,” Newell explains.
The Mr. Rogers’ Sweater Drive, like many hosted in communities across the country, will benefit local families. All donations will be given to DuPage PADS and Hesed House.
To date, Newell says 5 million sweaters have been distributed through Mr. Rogers’ Sweater Drives.
In spite of icy conditions, hundreds of people turned out for the event at the Naperville museum, 301 N. Washington St. And donation bins filled quickly.
Future visitors to the museum are encouraged to make their own “speedy delivery” of new and gently used sweaters and winter clothing.