Free Press
Searching for goodness and good people
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Searching for goodness and good people

There’s this old video clip of Mr. Rogers, talking about a lesson his mother taught him when he was a kid, about looking for the helpers when there’s a tragedy unfolding. You’ve probably seen a meme of this quote on Facebook, or maybe even the video. If you haven’t seen it, you can check it out here

It seems cliché to bring up this meme, especially now. But Mr. Rogers’ mom was right. If there is one way to find hope in a seemingly hopeless situation, it is searching for the goodness and the good people that sprout from the ashes.

It’s a good lesson and a wonderful insight, but at the core it is also a message from a mother to her young son. I imagine if she had said this to him in his later years, she probably would have followed up the sentiment by telling him to join the helpers after he found them…

This past week has been a lot. It’s hard to muster hope or any kind of optimism as we watch what’s unfolding in Ukraine right now. This war, on top of the pandemic and the long cold snap that we seem to have emerged from — and all the other things that have made the last two or so years heavy — is overwhelming. Yet, Mrs. Rogers is right: there are always helpers out there, making the world a better place and giving life to hope where there doesn’t seem to be any.

Goodies Bakeshop announced a cookie fundraiser on their Instagram page. (Mikaela MacKenzie / Winnipeg Free Press)

Two days ago, Goodies Bakeshop announced a cookie fundraiser on their Instagram page. The picture was a tray of yellow and blue heart-shaped sugar cookies, and the caption stated “Help us help Ukraine. Every little bit helps…” 100% of the proceeds from the sale of the $2 cookies is going to support the people of Ukraine.

The local bakery followed up with another post on the same day asking if anyone from the community wanted to volunteer to help apply icing on cookies. They couldn’t keep up with demand and it appears from their post that they hadn’t expected their fundraiser to receive the huge support that it did, so they were reaching out to people in the community to help.  A day later, they posted a note saying that the number of people who signed up to help was incredible.

It's been a real joy to watch the updates and to see people step in and step up to do what they can to help and make a difference. As the original post said, “every little bit helps.”

Gabrielle Piche wrote about some other community members and small businesses who are stepping in to help.

Shelley Cook

Shelley Cook, Columnist

Shelley Cook


Ben Waldman wrote about Winnipeg’s Raber Mitts. The local business has been making “Garbage Mitts” for decades. Ben’s profile was really fun to read, especially since I know firsthand how awesome these locally made mitts are! (I got a pair of Garbage Mitts for Christmas this year. I can confirm that they’re amazing.) 

Partially completed Garbage Mitts wait for their cuffs. (Mike Deal / Winnipeg Free Press)





A group of students at John Henderson Middle School have been knitting tiny winter hats for newborn babies! Jen Zoratti wrote about their project, which is helping keep our smallest community members toasty, and warming the hearts of all who read about it. 


The donated knit hats keep the babies warm but are also a keepsake for parents, including those navigating the heartbreak of perinatal loss.



Manitoba singer/songwriter Faouzia has been nominated for her first Juno Award for Breakout Artist of the Year! This is so exciting! Allan Small writes about the 21-year-old powerhouse who began singing when she was little and moved on to reach her dreams an international prominence with Minefields, a duet with music magnate John Legend that came out in October 2020. Good luck Faouzia! 

Faouzia (Supplied photo)



Taylor Allen wrote about last night’s touching anthem at the Winnipeg Jets game by members of the Hoosli Ukrainian Male Chorus. They sang their hearts out for Ukraine, and it was so touching. 

Hoosli Male Chorus sings Ukraine and Canada anthems before the Winnipeg Jets and the Montreal Canadiens game on Tuesday. (John Woods / Winnipeg Free Press)

What I've been working on

Eloquent words from CBC broadcaster

I went to bed early the night Russia invaded Ukraine. I was so tired, but I couldn’t sleep. Read More

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