PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — “Welcome to our Sweater Drive!”

Mr. McFeely, of “Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood,” delivers a warm welcome to kids gathered at the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh. It’s the kickoff of the 16th annual Sweater Drive, which has delivered thousands of sweaters to the needy over the past decade and a half.

This year, no one has done a better job of collecting than Liam Welge, a third grader at Edgeworth Elementary School. He has collected more than 200 sweaters.

“Basically,” he says, “whenever my family and I were watching Mr. Rogers, I always wanted to meet the characters.”

Now that dream has come true. But Liam and the other sweater collecting kids have earned it.

“All of these sweaters that you’re bringing in and you’ve collected are going to help people,” Mr. McFeely told them. “And that’s all part of Fred Rogers’ mission – to help others. And this symbolizes what Fred Rogers stood for, and what he did on television for all these many years. Just put your sweaters in the bin. And everybody say ‘Speedy delivery!'”

The children speedily, and eagerly, fill the bin with the warm gifts of winter.

And so it begins.

Now it’s your turn.

The Children’s Museum hopes that you will bring your new or gently-used sweaters to the lobby until Dec. 15, at which time they will be distributed to those who need them.

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