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  1. #1
    Member nyfamily5's Avatar
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    May 25th, 2008
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    Are You A Hugger?
    I am, I hug everyone, even people I just meet. Received this today and thought it was great. Are you a hugger? A hug can change someone's day!!

    Be sure to watch the video at the end of this story. It brought tears to my eyes.

    Free Hugs


    "Do you want a hug?" The young man asked Ginny. He held a sign in his hand, "Free Hugs." I looked around. There were other people with him. They held their hand-made signs high. The message was the same on all of them - "Free Hugs!"

    "Do you want a free hug?" The young man asked Ginny again.

    "Sure!" Ginny smiled and walked up to him. She reached up, wrapped her arms around his neck, pulled him down to her level, and hugged him with all the love she had in her heart.

    They parted. "WOW!" He exclaimed. "That was the best hug I've had all day!"

    "I'm a hugger." Ginny smiled at him.

    He looked at me. "How about a hug?"

    "You got it!" I walked into his open arms. We held briefly and parted.

    A young lady walked up and hugged Ginny. She turned to me, opened her arms, and hugged me too.

    Ginny and I stepped back and watched the "Free Huggers" work their magic with those who accepted them. They offered hugs to anyone and everyone.

    #############

    Juan Mann (One Man) returned to Sydney, Australia in 2004, after living in Europe for several years. He was depressed over his parent's divorce. Most of his friends had moved on. It was just him. He sat for months. Alone and depressed, Juan Mann decided to make a difference and reach out. He made a sign that read, "Free Hugs" and stood at the Pitt Street Mall - one of the busiest streets in the center of Sydney. He put his arms around anyone who accepted his offer.

    At first, he left his wallet at home, had a friend watch over him, and expected to be ridiculed. After fifteen minutes, a woman approached him. "My dog died today." She said. "It's also the first anniversary of my only daughter's death. I could use a hug."

    Juan was quoted as saying, "That first woman, it was more than a hug; it meant something to her."

    People joined Mann. They opened their arms to others. His message spread across the city. Afraid of lawsuits, officials banned "Free Hugs". The people revolted. More than 10,000 people signed a petition to allow him to continue his mission.

    Shimon Moore, the lead singer of "The Sick Puppies" happened to see Juan. They hugged and became friends. Moore borrowed a video camera and filmed Juan giving hugs. When Mann's grandmother died, Moore put the video together with his band's song called, "All The Same" and posted the video on "YouTube" with the following caption:

    "Sometimes, a hug is all we need. Free hugs is a real life controversial story of Juan Mann, a man whose sole purpose mission was to reach out and hug a stranger, to brighten up their lives."

    The video was a hit. It spread around the world. Juan has appeared on Oprah and several other major television shows. His idea continues to gain support and grow.

    After his first day on Pitt Street, Juan wondered if others were doing the same. He found Amma - The Hugging Saint of India, Jason Hunter in Atlanta, Georgia, and Jayson Littman in New York.

    Jayson started his hugging campaign the same year as Juan. They both felt a need to reach out to humanity. A financial analyst in Manhattan, Jayson believed New Yorkers could use a hug. From 2004 through to 2006, he spent one weekend afternoon a month holding his "Free Hugs" sign in his hands and opened his arms to anyone who needed human comfort.

    Since then, Jayson's mission has been taken over by others who believe - hugs for all. On the last Saturday afternoon of the month, you'll find them gathered in Union Square in Lower Manhattan. They hold their signs high and offer their open arms to all who need a human touch.

    #############

    The huggers worked the crowd. Most people ignored them or shook their heads to indicate they were not interested. Those who opened their arms in return, walked away with a smile on their face.

    I felt a warmth - a glow - fill my heart. Ginny and I were going through rough times. Money was scarce, bill collectors called on a regular basis. We were stressed and worried, but on that afternoon, for a brief moment, it was all forgotten. It took a simple hug to make everything better.

    Michael T. Smith

    See Juan Mann and the song about him here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9O6vZTvQl4o

    Ginny and I plan to join them this month. We want to hug those who don't know the power a hug can have.

    Michael lives in Fort Lee New Jersey with his wonderful wife Ginny. He works as a project manager in the telecommunications industry during the day. In his spare time, Michael writes stories for a collection to be called, "From My Heart to Yours." To read more of Michael's stories, go to http://ourecho.com/biography-353-Mic....shtml#stories To send Michael a note, email msmith4@nj.rr.com
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  2. #2
    Troll Killer and best Snooper!
    I decide when the pigs fly!
    Rhea's Avatar
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    January 18th, 2005
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    Nope, definitely not a hugger. I smile a lot though.

  3. #3
    ABW Ambassador IOWNIE's Avatar
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    March 23rd, 2006
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    I'm a lover not a hugger...

  4. #4
    Affiliate Manager Alan Hamilton's Avatar
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    I admit it - I tend to hug people. Not upon first meeting, but when I get to know someone better a hug just comes naturally.
    Join the Spicy Aprons Affiliate program on ShareASale Visit us on Facebook www.facebook.com/spicyaprons Follow us on Twitter @Spicyaprons

  5. #5
    Affiliate Network Rep Kim Salvino's Avatar
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    January 17th, 2007
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    I am a hugger, and proud of it. Watch out for me in Boston!!

    J/K - I only hug those I am sure want to be hugged. And usually, you can tell who they are.
    Kim Salvino, Client Services Director, Performance Horizon Group
    Reach me at kim.salvino(at)performancehorizon.com or on (443) 617-4036

  6. #6

  7. #7
    ABW Ambassador Daniel M. Clark's Avatar
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    January 7th, 2006
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    I used to be a hugger when I was younger. Now, not so much. Once I get to know someone, sure, definitely - but if I'm meeting someone for the first time, it's too intimate for my liking.
    Daniel M. Clark
    Tech Manager
    Greg Hoffman Consulting

  8. #8
    Affiliate Manager HeatherB's Avatar
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    May 16th, 2007
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    Thanks for posting. That made my day I'm a hugger and I admit it too. Actually, everyone in my family is a hugger.
    Heather Boulding
    Affiliate Manager, AbeBooks.com
    hboulding{at} abebooks.com
    [t] 250.412.3247
    [URL=http://www.abebooks.com/docs/AffiliateProgram]AbeBooks Affiliate Program[/URL]

  9. #9
    Newbie Chris R Motive's Avatar
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    June 26th, 2008
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    This is quite possibly one of the funniest threads i have ever seen! Are you a hugger? But I will say for me its true, I am a serial hugger, better watch out!

  10. #10
    Newbie motivebrendan's Avatar
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    January 18th, 2008
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    san diego
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    good to see one of my own in here! I mean a Motive peep not a hugger! Chris i heard a rumor that your nickname is Huggy Bear, is this true?

  11. #11
    Newbie Chris R Motive's Avatar
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    June 26th, 2008
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    Oh you caught me Brendan! You have figured out my alias.

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