The last time we saw Lily, an adorable pink Muppet, on Sesame Street was seven years ago. The franchise originally introduced the sweet character to raise awareness on families who face food insecurity on a daily basis. Lily returns once again, but this time the 7-year-old and her family are forced to stay with friends after losing their home. The storyline is part of Sesame Workshop’s initiative to address the impact of homelessness on the lives of young kids nationwide.
It’s a pretty heavy topic for your preschooler to take in, but it’s an important one nonetheless. More than 2.5 million children in the US are experiencing homelessness—and nearly half of those children are under the age of six, Sesame Workshop explains.
“We know children experiencing homelessness are often caught up in a devastating cycle of trauma—the lack of affordable housing, poverty, domestic violence or other trauma that caused them to lose their home, the trauma of actually losing their home and the daily trauma of the uncertainty and insecurity of being homeless,” says Sherrie Westin, president of global impact and philanthropy at Sesame Workshop. “We want to help disrupt that cycle by comforting children, empowering them and giving them hope for the future.”
And the narrative is even crucial for kids who have a stable home environment. Lily’s story shows the experience from a child’s point of view, with her friends understanding her situation, and supporting her with positive thoughts and activities to help her share her feelings with others.
In addition to the first episode, which aired on YouTube on Dec. 12, Lily will be featured in new videos, storybooks and interactive activities for families.
The introduction of the homeless Muppet is very timely. The holiday season is a teachable moment for kids about others who may not be as fortunate as they are, and ways they can give back through kind gestures and good deeds.
Still have some last-minute stragglers on your holiday list? Finish this year’s gifting by shopping from these mom owned businesses that give back.