A Quadruple-Dose of Hugs
A hug is a simple yet powerful gesture. Whether the hugger is raising money for charity, spreading cheer to the elderly, or even giving someone a pick-me-up on a hard day, the result is always the same - they spread happiness to everyone involved. These four stories show us the true value of a kind embrace.
1) Tim’s Charitable Hugs
There's a reason why Tim's Place is called the world's friendliest restaurant. What is that reason, you ask? Tim Harris, the owner, dishes out hugs like it's his job. Coincidentally, Tim's birthday falls on the same date as National Hug Day. Upon learning this, his parents were inspired to put Tim's hugging power to work. In 2013, Tim and his parents started the Hug-a-Thon. Customers of the restaurant were able to donate to the cause and would receive a hug from Tim in return. Tim's goal was to generate six thousand dollars for charity… which he achieved after only three days!
2) Oliver’s Hugs for the Elderly
You wouldn't find most six-year-old boys spending their Christmas money on flowers, but Oliver of Overland Park, Kansas isn't like most six-year-olds. Following the holiday season, Oliver decided to make it his mission to visit local nursing homes and brighten the day of anyone that crossed his path. Dressed as a police officer, Oliver dishes out flowers, hugs, and tickets that charge senior citizens "...for being too cute!". The pint-sized police officer visited three nursing homes in February, giving out about one hundred and fifty flowers and tickets.
3) Melinda’s Wealth of Hugs
Melinda Schmidt is a self-declared hugger. After moving to Raleigh, North Carolina, Melinda found herself missing the connection that she had shared with her friends and family. In an attempt to fix this, she bravely vowed to hug at least one stranger a day for an entire year… but she didn't stop there. Three hundred and sixty-five days of hugs left Melinda feeling happier than ever before. When Melinda spots someone that looks as though they are having a bad day, she does not hesitate to give them a hug. When she gives someone a hug, Melinda feels as though she is "...a millionaire that's giving away all their riches to somebody that really needs it."
4) Need a hug?
If you happen to find yourself alone, limitless hugs are only a click away. Aptly named "The Nicest Place on the Internet," this website featured clips of people "hugging" their camera or laptop, all to the tune of I Have Never Loved Someone by My Brightest Diamond. The band's singer, Shara Nova, wrote the song for her son, and the love is tangible both in both the music and the lyrics; it pairs exceptionally well with the clips. The site was a wonderful pitstop for anyone feeling down, lonely, or even just for those of us who are especially sentimental. Although it is no longer accessible, you're in luck- this fan-made site is almost identical to the original.