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Daniel Tiger Goes Virtual With Creative Ideas Across PNC's Markets

As the PNC Foundation renews a commitment to Be My Neighbor Days for 2021, our regional teams find new ways to provide fun and support families.

Published 04-20-21

Submitted by PNC Financial Services Group

person in daniel tiger costume waves at crowd

Everyone had to find a way to pivot in 2020 – and Daniel Tiger was no exception.

From Fort Wayne, Indiana, to Miami, Florida, PNC markets collaborated with local PBS stations last year to host Be My Neighbor Days that were a little different, but no less meaningful to the families they impacted.

What are Be My Neighbor Days?

Funded by PNC Grow Up Great, Be My Neighbor Days spread the message and spirit of Fred Rogers, the great early childhood educator. His legacy lives on in the character of Daniel Tiger and his hit show, Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood, brought to you by longtime Grow Up Great partner Fred Rogers Productions.

Like Mister Rogers, Daniel Tiger reminds us of the innate good in each of us and the efforts we should put forth to understand and be kind to the people around us. Be My Neighbor Days teach young children the value of volunteerism by engaging them and their families in an activity to benefit their community. These fun, large-scale events also typically feature activities and resources for the whole family, and an appearance by a life-sized Daniel Tiger.

person in daniel tiger costume poses with children

The 2020 version

With large-scale, in-person community events on hold for much of 2020, our PNC market teams found creative ways to get resources in the hands of families.

  • 17 PBS stations organized the distribution of more than 12,400 Be My Neighbor Day bags that included school supplies and arts and crafts materials, along with Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood and PNC Grow Up Great activities and resources.
  • Six stations hosted weeklong virtual or broadcast camp-style events, and kept the materials online so families and educators could continue the learning and fun. One station’s videos were viewed by over 16,000 kids ages 2 to 11.
  • Five stations invited families to virtual story time as part of their Be My Neighbor Day events
  • Five stations held drive-through parades, passing out Be My Neighbor Day bags with Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood and PNC Grow Up Great activities and resources.

Virtual hugs in Northern Indiana

In Northern Indiana, PNC worked with local PBS station WNIT to ask the community to create “virtual hug” videos to bring smiles to children and neighbors watching PBS, and remind them that others are thinking about them during these tough times.

The Virtual Hug campaign link from the WNIT website got 650 page views in its first 10 days. It took viewers to instructions for downloading and printing optional Daniel Tiger graphics and recording their inspirational message. The station received 27 videos, which they aired on all three local PBS stations throughout the day and posted to their website. Each submitter got a special Be My Neighbor bag.

person holding up children's book while smiling

Long-distance hugs from Western Michigan

In Grand Rapids, 250 preschoolers at two YMCA early childhood programs got a socially distanced visit from a masked Daniel Tiger, along with PNC Regional President Sean Welsh. They were among 1,500 pre-K kids across 12 locations who received gift bags that included books, crayons, coloring pages, and Long Distance Hug postcards to send to family, friends and nearby senior centers. During the week prior to the event, teachers incorporated Daniel Tiger resources into their lessons.

Kalamazoo’s event was part of the Family Health Center’s drive-through flu vaccination clinic that served primarily unrepresented families in the region. A total of 1,500 Daniel Tiger gift bags, including the Long Distance Hug postcards, were given to families. 

Looking ahead

The events have been so successful in our communities that the PNC Foundation recently approved a $750,000 grant to fund 40 Be My Neighbor Day events in nearly all of PNC’s markets in 2021.

“Our regional presidents and client and community relations teams in these markets did an incredible job of transitioning Be My Neighbor Days from the large-scale community events they’ve normally been to a wide variety of creative virtual ideas,” said Sally McCrady, president of the PNC Foundation. “We’re excited to have them continue bringing joy to neighbors across PNC’s footprint in 2021.”

person driving a car pulls up to a community event

Resources for everyone

Don’t miss Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood – Caring Reminders for Families During Stressful Times. Fred Rogers Productions offers these tips on how families, parents and caregivers can relieve children’s insecurities and fears during these stressful and challenging times. The resources are hosted on the PNC Grow Up Great external website, so you can feel free to share them outside of PNC, too.

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PNC Financial Services Group

PNC Financial Services Group

As a Main Street bank, we are committed to delivering on each of our strategic priorities while looking out for the best interests of all of our stakeholders, including our customers, communities, employees and shareholders. Our focus on operating with integrity drives us to help our customers achieve their goals while also strengthening our communities, reducing our environmental impact and empowering our employees to grow.

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