I'll be honest, at first glance our latest blog post's title doesn't quite seem relative to an animal nutrition company's Family blog. Fortunately; dear reader, I'm glad that you've taken the time to read this post to find out why this quote from Mr. Rogers is incredibly relevant to present times, and certainly the soul of RAWZ Natural Pet Food. Let's begin by examining the genesis of our title.
The Mr. Rogers that I cite is indeed Fred Rogers, American TV personality, puppeteer, producer, writer, and Presbyterian minister. He was the creator, producer and host of the preschool television series Mister Rogers' Neighborhood, which ran from 1968 to 2001. While certainly not needing much of an introduction, Mr. Rogers was particularly adept at speaking with children in a soothing manner helping the child navigate difficult life situations. I can't help but see how we could all, no matter young or old, benefit from having a Mr. Rogers on TV in our current times.
Back to "Look for the Helpers", while not originating from Mr. Rogers, the words were originally told to Fred by his mother when as a little boy he was frightened by something he either heard or saw on the news. The full statement from Fred's mother first began appearing in a column he wrote in the late 1960's about how his mother helped him navigate stressful times. Upon learning frightening information, Fred's mother reminded him to:
"Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping." Fred went on to say, "To this day, especially in times of disaster, I remember my mother’s words, and I am always comforted by realizing that there are still so many helpers — so many caring people in this world.”
My RAWZ teammate put me in touch with one of these amazing "helpers" Mr. Rogers was referring to: Amy Engelhardt. Amy a Charlestown, MA resident, is the human companion of Harry the Healer, an adorable 5 yr old Cockapoo who regularly visits and comforts recently admitted Brain Injury survivors at Spaulding Rehabilitation Network's Charleston facility. Amy's a huge proponent of the healing power of animals which was clear as she recounted placing Harry's paw on just admitted patients and telling them they'd be ok. I was nearly in tears as I listened, remembering how Boomer's visits to my room at Spaulding's former location next to The Garden were so uplifting for me. Check out Harry the Healer's Instagram page to see this powerful pooch for yourself!
I could go on and on about this pair, but I'll end with some info about a moving event happening daily at Spaulding. After interacting on March 20th with a doctor outside the hospital who noted the current Pandemic had left many patients at Spaulding with reduced visitors, the idea for The Hope Train popped into Amy's mind. As person with a deep appreciation in human connection and a witness to the spiritual power of animals; Amy was excited by the thought of creating a show of support for patients working towards recovery at Spaulding. Seeds for a daily 10 AM walk around the hospital with Harry and others were planted.
After receiving the support of hospital administrators, another helper appeared. Cruz Roman, the owner of Charlestown's AB Printing & Imaging, enthusiastically offered his services to produce a "Hope Train" banner to be carried at the daily walk. Spaulding has the phrase "Find your strength" on much of its' marketing conveying how the hospital phenomenal rehabilitation services fuel recoveries. With the "Hope Train", Amy, Harry, and their supporters are providing hope in these uncertain times, uncertain due to the Pandemic and because of the hospital patients themselves' life changing injuries.