"Look for the Helpers"

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Mr. Rogers: "Look for the Helpers"

Look for the helpers
Netlore Archive: A viral quote that commonly circulates in the wake of tragic public events is attributed to kids' show host Fred Rogers.. Via Facebook

Description: Viral quote
Circulating since: 1980s
Status: Authentic

Full text:
As shared on Facebook, April 15, 2013:

"When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, 'Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.'" — Fred Rogers

Analysis: The task of explaining calamitous events and lending comfort to children in the wake of tragedy is a conundrum to every parent, especially when such events involve violent attacks and loss of life on the scale of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings of 2012 or the Boston Marathon bombings of April 2013.

The above quote from the late childrens' TV show host Fred Rogers spread far and wide via social media on both occasions and was perfectly suited to the circumstances. It's correctly attributed.

Fred Rogers repeated the statement many times over the course of his public life. Here are some examples:

• "Disasters: When Children Face Tragedy." Deseret News, 25 July 1986.
• "Won't You Be My Neighbor?." Christianity Today, 6 March 2000.
• "Comforting Children: Advice from Mr. Rogers." Crosswalk.com, 19 September 2001.
• "Mr. Rogers Tapes PSAs to Help Kids Cope." Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 10 November 2001.
The Mister Rogers Parenting Book. Philadelphia: Running Press, 2002.

Sources and further reading:

Mr. Rogers on Times of Tragedy
Parenting.com, 17 December 2012

America Turns to Mister Rogers in Times of Disturbance
Philly.com, 17 April 2013

The History of Mr. Rogers' Powerful Message
Slate.com, 16 April 2013

Last updated 11/14/15