by Mark Powell

The Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh kicked off its 14th annual Mr. Rogers Sweater Drive this month, and will collect sweaters to the needy in the Pittsburgh area and beyond.

The museum teamed up with Operation Safety Net, Familylinks, the Presbyterian Media Mission and the Salvation Army of Western Pennsylvania to distribute clothing to families in need.

“It’s in the spirit of neighborliness and warmth during the cold months,” said museum marketing director Bill Schlageter.

The donations go directly to the nonprofit organizations and are then distributed to families throughout Southwestern Pennsylvania.

The Sweater Drive started on Nov.7with a kick-off event at the Children’s Museum in which 72 students from Northside schools got a special visit from Pittsburgh’s favorite speedy delivery man, and beloved Mr. Rogers staple Mr. McFeely.

McFeely brought some of his puppet friends, including Daniel Striped Tiger for kids to meet before they brought their sweaters up to the stage to donate.

Over the last 14 years the museum donated more than 28,000 sweaters to the less fortunate. The Mr. Rogers Sweater Drive is accepting donations through Dec. 13.

To donate, visit Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. or call the Sweater Drive hotline at 412-322-5058 ex. 231.