Spread the Hug is an organization that I first became involved with as a volunteer. It all began in May 2017 when I came across an ad on Craigslist looking for a photographer for free hugs in downtown Chicago. Once I took a more thorough look at the ad and the related site (spreadthehug.love), I was impressed by the organization's mission and felt like it would an interesting opportunity for me to help out. The mission of Spread the Hug is breaking down barriers between people, reducing fear and hostility, cracking open hearts, spreading love, and encouraging a culture of kindness -- ONE BIG HUG at a time.
While the founder of the organization, Mark Abrams, was in Chicago for a business conference, he decided he would spend some time spreading the hug in the city. Our crew for this event consisted of 4 people: myself, Mark, another photographer named Meagan Baker, and a videographer named Anthony Lasala. Going into this, I think most of us thought we were only simply going to be chronicling Mark hugging people outside the Water Tower Place in Chicago. Instead, Mark encouraged us all to participate and we all did at one time or another.
Helping and participating in this event in Chicago, ultimately lead to me becoming a seed of sorts for Spread the Hug. Once I got my hug dealer t-shirt in the mail, I began to wear it for one of the days of the festivals I attend. Over the last year, I have dealt hugs and given out awesome cards at Hulaween, Pretty Lights Detroit Night 2, Okechobee, Summer Camp, and Electric Forest. And don't worry because I do not plan on calling it quits any time soon. If you're interested in participating yourself, follow this link here.