Hugs Here Story
In June of 2013, my (then) ten year old daughter participated as a volunteer in a suicide prevention charity walk. While very young, she had seen our efforts on behalf of the cause in honor of a family member we lost in 2005. When opening ceremonies for the event started, she looked out and noticed a woman crying directly in front of where we were sitting. She turned to me, saying simply “that person looks like they could use a hug”. And so she did. It was no more complicated than that simple caring gesture.
She continued on for the next seven hours, until 2:30 am (it was an overnight walk) when she couldn’t hold her eyes open anymore. By the end of the night, she hugged an estimated 250-300 people. We didn’t know it then, but our journey was just beginning. Since that time, we have received comments from many people that participated in the walk that night. People that not only remembered her, but were inspired by her. People who’s lives were touched by a simple human gesture, and the altruistic expression of a little girl’s giving heart.
Hugs Here started out as an organic movement, based on compassion, understanding, and a basic human connection. From there, it has touched not only our lives, but that of many, many others. We thank you for being part of that journey, and for inspiring us with every hug along the way. She continues to participate in events honoring suicide prevention (among others). In October 2013, we were honored to have her lead a group of over 3,000 people taking steps towards the cause.
We continue these efforts to honor the memory of the one we lost. During an event, she was asked by a reporter why it is that she likes to give hugs. Her answer was simply because “she wanted to give people hugs they may never have had the chance to receive”. With a tear in my eye and a smile in my heart, I know he’d be proud of the legacy she continues in his honor.