A familiar face helped us deal with a tragedy-filled world in 1981. He still does.

There have been a lot of tragic, hard-to-understand things in the news lately.

It can feel like the world is falling apart around us, with barely any time to make sense of it all.

When you're a parent, you know there's another dimension to these hard-to-stomach news events. Not only do you have to cope with them, you have to find a way to explain it all to your children.


Senseless mayhem has always been going on. For a generation of kids and parents, there was an amazing resource available to help them out, and all you had to do was click on the television and his calm, welcoming demeanor would appear.

Mister Rogers (aka Fred Rogers) in his time on the air was a great source of caring guidance on how to process such unsettling topics. In an episode that first aired in 1981, he laid out some amazing, still-relevant tips for kids and adults facing bad news.

1. He wanted to make sure children had a supportive adult to help them feel strong enough for these conversations.

When possible, it's always best for a child to have the stabilizing presence of a trusted caretaker for the big stuff in life. By inviting his young viewers to find one before jumping into this conversation, he's making sure the children have a resource if they have more questions about this stuff.

All GIFs from "Mister Rogers' Neighborhood."

“Please get a grown-up that you love to watch this program with you because we’re going to talk about some sad and scary things.”

2. He tried to help kids understand why people do such nasty things.

In the video below, you can notice how he avoids calling the people who do terrible things "bad" themselves. He discusses their behavior and their possible motivations. And he helps kids understand that there are other ways they can deal with their own feelings than to damage others.

"There are people in the world who are so sick or so angry that they sometimes hurt other people. And they’re usually the ones who end up in the news. Remember hearing about John Lennon being shot in New York, and President Reagan and his friends in Washington, and the Pope in Rome, and the young people being murdered in Atlanta and other places? Well the people who are doing these terrible things are making a lot of other people sad and angry. But when we get sad and angry, you and I, we know what to do with our feelings so we don’t have to hurt other people."

3. He checked in with some schoolkids to hear their thoughts and feelings, something that the kids at home could relate with.

During the segment, a girl told Rogers how she once reacted to news of a shooting. "When I heard about when that one man got shot in the head I ran upstairs to my bed and started praying for him, that he’d stay alive," she said.

Another girl mentioned that she thought some people are just trying to pay everybody back for the painful things in their lives.

4. Then he passes on his favorite advice that his mother gave him when he was a boy.

"When I was a boy and I would hear about something scary … I’d ask my parents or my grandparents about it, and they would usually tell me how they felt about it. In fact, my mother would try to find out who was helping the person who got hurt.

'Always look for the people who are helping,' she’d tell us. 'You’ll always find somebody who’s trying to help.'"

This quote has resurfaced in the past few years on social media, bringing great comfort to adults and young people when the news takes a turn for the worse.

If you have a few minutes, watching this can be comforting and nostalgic. You may even want to show it to the kids in your life!

So that's what we do in times like the ones we keep hearing about today, everyone. We look for the helpers. And if you can't find one, be one.

Photo courtesy of Capital One
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Growing up in Virginia, Dominique Meeks Gombe idolized her family physician — a young Black woman who inspired Meeks Gombe to pursue her passion for chemistry.

While Meeks Gombe began her career working in an environmental chemistry lab, after observing multiple inefficient processes in and around the lab, she took the initiative to teach herself to code in order to automate and streamline those issues.

That sparked her love for coding and imminent career shift. Now a software engineer at Capital One, Meeks Gombe wants to be a similar role model to her childhood mentor and encourage girls to pursue any career they desire.

"I'm so passionate about technology because that's where the world is going," Meeks Gombe said. "All of today's problems will be solved using technology. So it's very important for me, as a Black woman, to be at the proverbial table with my unique perspective."

Since 2019, she and her fellow Capital One associates have partnered with the Capital One Coders program and Girls For A Change to teach coding fundamentals to middle school girls.

The nonprofit's mission is aimed at empowering Black girls in Central Virginia. The organization focuses on designing, leading, funding and implementing social change projects that tackle issues girls face in their own neighborhoods.

Girls For a Change is one of many local nonprofits that receive support from the Capital One Impact Initiative, which strives to close gaps in equity while helping people gain better access to economic and social opportunities. The initial $200 million, five-year national commitment aims to support growth in underserved communities as well as advance socioeconomic mobility.

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Often, parents of children with special needs struggle to find Halloween costumes that will accommodate medical equipment or provide a proper fit. And figuring out how to make one? Yikes.

There's good news; shopDisney has added new ensembles to their already impressive line of adaptive play costumes. And from 8/30 - 9/26, there's a 20% off sale for all costume and costume accessory orders of $75+ with code Spooky.

When looking for the right costume, kids with unique needs have a lot of extra factors to consider: wheelchair wheels get tangled up in too-long material, feeding tubes could get twisted the wrong way, and children with sensory processing disorders struggle with the wrong kind of fabric, seams, or tags. There are a lot of different obstacles that can come between a kid and the ability to wear the costume of their choice, which is why it's so awesome that more and more companies are recognizing the need for inclusive creations that make it easy for everyone to enjoy the magic of make-believe.

Created with inclusivity in mind, the adaptive line is designed to discreetly accommodate tubes or wires from the front or the back, with lots of stretch, extra length and roomier cut, and self-stick fabric closures to make getting dressed hassle-free. The online shop provides details on sizing and breaks down the magical elements of each outfit and accessory, taking the guesswork out of selecting the perfect costume for the whole family.

Your child will be able to defeat Emperor Zurg in comfort with the Buzz Lightyear costume featuring a discreet flap opening at the front for easy tube access, with self-stick fabric closure. There is also an opening at the rear for wheelchair-friendly wear, and longer-length inseams to accommodate seated guests. To infinity and beyond!

An added bonus: many of the costumes offer a coordinating wheelchair cover set to add a major boost of fun. Kids can give their ride a total makeover—all covers are made to fit standard size chairs with 24" wheels—to transform it into anything from The Mandalorian's Razor Crest ship to Cinderella's Coach. Some options even come equipped with sounds and lights!

From babies to adults and adaptive to the group, shopDisney's expansive variety of Halloween costumes and accessories are inclusive of all.

Don't forget about your furry companions! Everyone loves to see a costumed pet trotting around, regardless of the occasion. You can literally dress your four-legged friend to look like Sven from Frozen, which might not sound like something you need in your life but...you totally do. CUTENESS OVERLOAD.

This year has been tough for everyone, so when a child gets that look of unfettered joy that comes from finally getting to wear the costume of their dreams, it's extra rewarding. Don't wait until the last minute to start looking for the right ensemble!


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