1-4-3 Day is May 21: What to know about this chance for Pennsylvanians to ‘be a good neighbor’

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    After more than a year of pandemic-induced isolation, losses and difficulties and deep partisan divisions, it’s time to share the love and spread kindness, according to the Wolf administration.

    “This year, it is so important that we continue to spread kindness and positivity in our communities and beyond,” Carrie Fischer Lepore, deputy secretary, Office of Marketing, Tourism, and Film for the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development said in a statement.

    Beginning on Friday, May 21 and lasting through Sunday, May 23, Gov. Tom Wolf has called on Pennsylvanians to celebrate the third annual “1-4-3 Day” in honor of children’s TV star and Pittsburgh native Fred Rogers. 

    Adopted in 2019, 1-4-3 Day is named for a numerical abbreviation. Rogers used it as an alternative way to say “I love you.” The numbers 1-4-3 represent the number of letters found in each word of the phrase. 

    The day is a celebration of kindness, according to a statement from the governor’s office. The day “challenges all to do a good deed for a neighbor.”

    “Though 1-4-3 Day has looked a little different since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, its impact will be felt and needed now more than ever. Over the past year, we’ve learned that kind gestures can be made anywhere, anytime,” Wolf said. “Whether by offering a simple note of appreciation or donating to those in need, I encourage everyone to show their support and compassion to celebrate this day across the commonwealth.”  

    So how serious is the commonwealth and Pennsylvania’s top executive about 1-4-3 Day? Well, the day has its own “kindness generator,” helping Pennsylvanians choose a random act of kindness. You can find it on this state government webpage. 

    “The past two years, we’ve seen our neighbors, both young and old, take part in 1-4-3 Day, showing gratitude with acts of kindness in many different forms and we can’t wait to see the new and creative ways Pennsylvanians express their kindness this year,” Lepore said.

    Random acts of kindness don’t need to be grand, Lepore said, offering a few examples: 

    • Volunteering at a local charitable organization in your community,
    • Making someone smile with an unexpected compliment,
    • Paying for the person behind you in the drive-thru or at the store,
    • Bringing coffee to your co-workers,
    • Donating blood,
    • Sending someone a handwritten card or note, 
    • Getting outside for a Kindness Walk (1.43 miles),
    • Dropping off new or gently used clothes/toys to those in need,
    • Preparing a meal for your household or family members, or
    • Creating inspiring sidewalk art using chalk.  
    Cassie Miller
    A native Pennsylvanian, Cassie Miller worked for various publications across the Midstate before joining the team at the Pennsylvania Capital-Star. In her previous roles, she has covered everything from local sports to the financial services industry. Miller has an extensive background in magazine writing, editing and design. She is a graduate of Penn State University where she served as the campus newspaper’s photo editor. She is currently pursuing her master’s degree in professional journalism at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. In addition to her role at the Capital-Star, Miller enjoys working on her independent zines, Dead Air and Infrared.