About Mister Rogers’ Week of Kindness

Fred Rogers was an icon of kindness and encouragement for many Americas while they were growing up, from the start of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood in October 1966 until the airing of the final episode on August 31, 2001. His famous sweaters, gentle teachings and catchy tunes captivated and affirmed our evolving personalities, as he told us that we “made today a special day, just by being you”.

Many Central Floridians are unaware of Fred Rogers’ devotion to, and love of, the Central Florida community. First arriving here in 1948 to tour the Rollins Campus as a possible transfer student from Dartmouth, it was on the tarmac of today’s Orlando Executive Airport that Fred met another Tar student who would later become his wife, Joanne Byrd. Fred and Joanne’s son John, Fred’s sister Elaine, and her son Dan would also subsequently become students at the Winter Park college.

More importantly, the Rogers fell in love with Central Florida and returned each January for Fred to write scripts and music when working on Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood, authoring and composing about half of the content for the TV program here locally.

Fred’s shows taught millions the values of being kind to our neighbors, to loving ourselves and those around us, and to the human need and benefit of being a part of a neighborhood of inter-connected, yet diverse, people…every one of who was special in their own way. Mister Rogers’ Week of Kindness is an opportunity to reflect back on those messages, and introduce others to world of Mister Rogers, through a series of activities and events in the Orlando area hosted by members of the cast and crew of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood.

Please note that all events are open to the public, but require and advance reservation as each event is capacity controlled. Your voluntary donation of a new or gently worn sweater to benefit The Mustard Seed of Central Florida, and/or a new or gently worn pair of shoes to benefit Addy’s Operation Shared Shoes is greatly appreciated for those who are able to donate. Donation boxes are available at each event.

Neighborhood Activities

Self-Guided Fred Rogers Walking Tours

Date: April 1-6, 2024, Continuous
Venue: Rollins College

Explore the neighborhood that shaped Mister Rogers on this self-guided walking tour of Rollins College, and find out how we’re keeping his legacy alive on America’s most beautiful campus. Along the way, you’ll experience exclusive Mister Rogers memorabilia and artwork and get a feel for how we’re educating the next generation of global citizens and responsible leaders

Remembering the Rogers Afternoon Tea

Date: Thursday, April 4, 2024, 2:00pm4:00pm
Venue: Woman’s Club of Winter Park

Join friends and colleagues of part-year Winter Park residents Fred and Joanne Rogers and we share warm stories and favorite memories of our former Winter Park Neighbors. Tea and light refreshments are included. There are very limited seats for this event.

Inside the Neighborhood: Episode Clip Screening with Cast and Crew Q&A Talkback

Date: Thursday, April 4, 2024, 7:00pm0:00pm
Venue: TBA

Take a peek behind the scenes of some landmark episodes of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood with show producer Margy Whitmer, Mr. McFeely cast member David Newell, and Hedda Sharapan, Senior Fellow (The Fred Rogers Institute) and Child Development Consultant (Fred Rogers Productions). Light reception follows the presentation.

Prayer Breakfast of Thanksgiving and Celebration

Date: Friday, April 5, 2024, 8:00am9:30am
Venue: TBA

Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood cast member and close personal friend of Fred Rogers, David Newell, headlines a discussion with Pastor Seth Kane of The Foundry (and author of the sermon series “The Gospel According to Fred”) as they share their observations, near and from a distance, as to how Mister Rogers lived out his faith as we celebrate an extraordinary life of faithfulness.

Our Winter Park Neighbor Lunch and Learn with David Newell (Mr. McFeely)

Date: Friday, April 5, 2024, 12:00pm-1:30pm
Venue: TBA

Join the cast and crew of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood and Original Orlando Tours for a fascinating look at Fred Rogers’ life, his years of time spent in Winter Park, how Winter Park played a critical role in the success and creation of episodes of the television show, and the legacy left behind by Fred and the rest of his family who also were a part of the fabric of the Winter Park community.

Mister Rogers: The Musician Concert

Date: Friday, April 5, 2024, 7:30pm
Venue: John M. Tiedtke Concert Hall at Rollins College

More information to follow.

Mister Rogers Speaker Series

Date: Saturday, April 6, 2024, 9:00am
Venue: TBA

More information to follow.

Red Sweater Soiree

Date: Friday, April 5, 2024, 7:00pm
Venue: TBA

More information to follow.

All of these events are made possible by the generosity of our Central Florida Neighbors.

Contribute To Our Neighborly Drives

Bring select items with you to each Activity to support these causes. Additional drop-off locations are at Rollins College and other areas around Central Florida.

Operation Shared Shoes

Please bring new or lightly used shoes with you

Operation Shared Shoes is an organization with one goal, to provide new or lightly used shoes to every single person who needs them and cannot get them for themselves.  We strive to make a difference in the community, and help those who are less fortunate.

Dealing with the challenges of today requires problem-solvers who bring different perspectives and are willing to take risks. Operation Shared Shoes emerged out of a pursuit to inspire and support the community, and a desire for actions to speak louder than words. Established in 2017, we’re an organization driven by progressive ideas, bold actions, and a strong foundation of support.

Sweater Drive by The Mustard Seed of Central Florida

Please bring new or lightly used sweaters with you

The Mustard Seed of Central Florida helps rebuild the lives of families and individuals who have suffered disaster or personal tragedy by providing household furnishings and clothing. We create more stable futures for those we serve, and a more sustainable, environmentally responsible community for us all.


Our Neighbors

All of these events are made possible by the generosity of our Central Florida Founding Neighbors

Our Neighbors

All of these events are made possible by the generosity of our Central Florida Founding Neighbors

Neighbor Bios

You will be seeing these familiar faces all throughout Week of Kindness

David Newell
Mr. McFeely

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Hedda Sharapan
Fred Rogers Productions

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Margy Whitmer
Fred Rogers Productions

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Rich Bradley
Buena Vista Events & Management

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