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197 Reviews
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June 11, 2013
2 people found this review helpful

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June 11, 2013
2 people found this review helpful

I have personally worked on projects with Karen and am constantly amazed at what she is abled to do for our service men and women. The Hugs Project is a beacon of light among nonprofit agencies and a testament to what a simple idea can blossom into.

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How does this organization compare with others in the same sector?

Very Well

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

Will you recommend this organization to others?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

June 5, 2013
1 person found this review helpful

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1 previous review
April 9, 2013

Been a member for about 4 years, even though it is a sweet long distance relationship. At 2:00 AM on Friday Dec. 8th 2012 I was instant messaging with Karen at HUGS in OKC, me in Houston, TX. She sa... more

June 5, 2013
1 person found this review helpful

I had the wonderful opportunity of working with this group for a few days the first week of December. I drove from Houston to Oklahoma City just to do what I could do to help. I met some of the most wonderful people and I cannot tell you what a great group this is, young and old.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

i can't think of anything that is being over looked.

More feedback...

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

April 9, 2013
1 person found this review helpful

Been a member for about 4 years, even though it is a sweet long distance relationship. At 2:00 AM on Friday Dec. 8th 2012 I was instant messaging with Karen at HUGS in OKC, me in Houston, TX. She said they were sweating bullets packing the planned 5000 care packages out by Dec. 12th. Went to check the mileage, about 400plus. By noon Friday the 9th a friend and I were on our way up there in my RV I had just gotten. I didn't even know how to turn the furnace on in it and that was the 19 degree nights. We got in late Sat and met the bunch on Sunday and volunteered almost everyday until we had to drive back to Houston on Dec. 12th so we missed postal pickup. Most rewarding experience I have ever been a part of. Amazing young and old packing those packages. They wore me out, best tired I have ever had.

Dorinda McKenzie, Houston Texas

More feedback...

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

A lot

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Quite well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

June 5, 2013
2 people found this review helpful

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June 5, 2013
2 people found this review helpful

HUGS is AWESOME!!!! My youngest son was deployed and I signed him and a few of his buddies up to receive Care Packages. When the packages arrived my son says that everyone gathered around their beds to see what they'd received. They'd grab something out of it and place the rest in the common areas to be shared.
One young man had no family to support him and my son said he actually had tears in his eyes as he opened his first package. The young man said that receiving that package let him know that there were people who cared if he were lonely, lost, and scared. He says that his box contained a letter thanking him for his service, praising him for being man enough to make the sacrifices he was making, and sending him prayers. He allowed everyone to read it then, he folded it up and put it in a safe place. To this day, he carried it around in his wallet. It's faded and warn from him rereading it so often but his hands still shake when he shows it to people.
But, HUGS didn't stop there. They didn't just "adopt" my son and his buddies, they adopted me as well. Without their love and support I would never have made it through my sons deployment. Mary and Karen checked up on me all the time, asked about my son and his buddies, and they listened to a mother's fears for her child. Without them, I would have never made it through the longest 12 months of my life with my sanity intact.
I can't thank HUGS enough for supporting my son, his buddies, and myself during that deployment. Your support made the sacrifices those young men and women made easier and less lonely, and helped ease my fears. Please keep up the good work!!! What you do touches the lives and hearts of many. THANK YOU!!!! And God Bless you all.

More feedback...

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization?

Definitely

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

June 5, 2013
1 person found this review helpful

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1 previous review
November 5, 2012

I was so impressed with this organization that I started a chapter here in western Kentucky. The work that is done by the home group is amazing. A LOT of work and dedication is needed to run a group l... more

June 5, 2013
1 person found this review helpful

This group of people are amazing in how much they serve our men/women in harm's way. So many men/women have smiled simply because of the love and support they have shared.

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Will you volunteer or donate to this organization?

Definitely

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

November 5, 2012
2 people found this review helpful

I was so impressed with this organization that I started a chapter here in western Kentucky. The work that is done by the home group is amazing. A LOT of work and dedication is needed to run a group like this when EVERYONE is a volunteer. Not too hard when someone is getting paid to do the work but much different when it's done 100% with love. There have been MANY of our heroes who have told us the stories of how much it meant to them to get the love and support that goes into every box sent. Even after they come home it sometimes makes a difference. Just knowing someone cares is enough to get you thru a bad day over there. I love our heroes and I love The Hugs Project for doing what they do.

More feedback...

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

June 5, 2013

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1 previous review
February 9, 2011

I've worked with this group for almost 7 years. We're all volunteers. No one takes a salary. I was a lonely sailor onboard the USS Independence in 1990. I picked an "Any Servicemember" letter ou... more

June 5, 2013

When I served in the Navy during Desert Shield and Storm, care packages were the best part of ANY day. That hasn't changed.

We are making a difference in the quality of American lives and it feels good. Come join us.

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Will you volunteer or donate to this organization beyond what is required of board members?

Definitely

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

Will you tell others about this organization?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

February 9, 2011

I've worked with this group for almost 7 years. We're all volunteers. No one takes a salary.

I was a lonely sailor onboard the USS Independence in 1990. I picked an "Any Servicemember" letter out of a stack in the morale office so I know the great feeling support from strangers
brings. I want to pass that on.

Our troops let us know that this project affects the way they look at things. One young Marine wrote, "You are rocking our world". Does it get any better?

Well, for me it did...the great feeling I got from my Desert Shield pen pal is one reason I asked her to marry me over 18 years ago. My wife, Karen is the driving force behind The Hugs Project and she's still the love of my life.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

It's great to read the thank you notes our troops send back. Even better when they look us up when they come home to OKC.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Make sure Karen gets more rest. She never sleeps!

May 7, 2013
1 person found this review helpful

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May 7, 2013
1 person found this review helpful

This is the best organization that I have worked with because the volunteers are so dedicated towards their cause. I don't think any money goes to "administrative costs" because all the volunteers reach deep into their pockets to pay for their high costs. The military are experiencing reduced supplies and they really deserve so very much. I pray for the service members who are so appreciative of their Hugs boxes and I hope they return safe. I am very grateful to the Hugs group for what they do.

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Was your donation impactful?

Definitely

How likely is it that you would recommend that a friend donate to this group?

Definitely

How likely are you to donate to this group again?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

May 6, 2013

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May 6, 2013

I have been associated with the Hugs Project early on, since I don't know when exactly. I can't even remember where we met, it wasn't at the current Crossroads Mall though. I've volunteered time, money and talent since I first answered a newspaper article at its early beginnings. You see I did not know anyone in the military, but after reading the article I was so moved to do something for the troops, might have been Desert Storm. I haven't been as active as in the beginning because of raising my granddaughter, but have become more so because my granddaughter, age 7, can help as well. The 2012 Christmas campaign was memorable for her because she colored and wrote messages on the care packages. She even got a glimpse of her artwork when the local television station aired the event. She is always asking to go to the Hugs Project so she can help. Karen and Ray work Hugs Project 24 hours a day with only admiration, respect and love from the troops and members as payment for service.

More feedback...

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

May 6, 2013

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May 6, 2013

AFTER A HARD DAY OF WORK I GET A UNKNOW CARE PACKAGE FROM THIS LOVING GROUP OF AMERICAN HEROS, THE HUGS PROJECT. I DID NOT ASK FOR ANYTHING OR KNOW THEM BUT THEY SENT ME GOOD STUFF I DID NEED AND SOME OF MY FELLOW DEVIL DOGS. THIS LOVING GROUP OF OKIES REALLY KNOWS HOW TO MAKE A GREATFUL NATION PROUD TO SERVE A GIVING GOD TO SOME MANY WITH NOTHING AND HERE I STAND GIVING IT BACK WITH MY FELLOW AMERICANS AND YES THE BAD GUYS. AND THE LOOK ON THEIR FACE, AS IF THEY THINK WE WERE GOING TO DO BAD THINGS TO THEM AFTER WE CATCH THEM. LORD CONTINUE TO BEST OUR COUNTRY AND THIS LOVING GROUP OF AMERICANS THE HUGS PROJECT. AMERICA BLESS GOD! SSGT TED KREY SEMPERFI

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How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

A lot

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

Definitely

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Very Well

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

November 30, 2012
1 person found this review helpful

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1 previous review
February 8, 2011

The Hugs Project in Oklahoma City has made a difference in so many lives. After 23 years of duty in the Air Force, my husband and I settled down in OKC to raise our children. Our son is now an active ... more

November 30, 2012
1 person found this review helpful

If you have read any of the posted reviews, you already know what the HUGs Project is and what they do for the US Military. I have been a "Career Volunteer" my whole life, and this is the one organization that has done/will continue to do, the most good for the most people that I have ever worked with. Non-military sometimes have a hard time understanding the career choice of men and women who have taken on the job of protecting their country. The HUGs Project champions these military members with unquestioning support year round...not just during the holidays (which is when they send out 5,000 packages!) but every day. Each week, 50-75 CARE packages are mailed to troops in all services who are serving in harm's way. This non-profit group is run by an amazing couple that are tireless in their dedication to the cause, with the promise, "As long as they are fighting for our freedom, we'll work to support them." This is a remarkable group that I am proud to be a part of.

More feedback...

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

February 8, 2011
1 person found this review helpful

The Hugs Project in Oklahoma City has made a difference in so many lives. After 23 years of duty in the Air Force, my husband and I settled down in OKC to raise our children. Our son is now an active duty Air Force helicopter pilot. During his year in Afghanistan, I became acquainted with Karen and Ray Stark and started volunteering with THP . They started and have kept the HUGS program running from their Edmond home and the Crossroads Mall storefront location. Volunteers from all around the area meet Wednesday, Thursday, or Saturday's to make hand sewn items (the HUGS that go around the neck to be wet and help cool the body), take large quantities of goods and make smaller baggies of the items (beef jerky, candy, gum, hygiene items, etc.), write encouraging notes to the Troops, and fill CARE boxes. Usually about 30-50 boxes go out every week to Troops in Afghanistan and Iraq. Over 4,000 boxes were sent overseas in December, full of Christmas candy, mugs of hot chocolate mix, knitted hats, socks, homemade goodies, granola bars, Twinkies, wrapped presents, books, toys for local children, ornaments, and as much love as could be packed into them. The letters expressing thanks from the Troops who received these boxes can break your heart. Being supported by total strangers gives them a lift in spirit, hope that they are appreciated, and a touch of home in a very scary place. This volunteer organization touches the lives of the Troops, the lives of children and locals they come in contact with, and it touches the hearts of all the volunteers from various walks of life who come to work here throughout the week. The Hugs Project is an amazing, totally non-profit organization, that does a huge amount of good for all who work there and for all who receive the boxes that are sent. Every box that goes out from THP, goes with the love of those supporting our Troops in harm's way.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

The results of this organization can be felt by the volunteers working to send hope and support to our Troops in harm's way. My son was in Afghanistan for a year and received several CARE packages from THP. The letters of response from military members who received these packages are heat-rending. They are so greatful for the unsolicited love and support of their mission, both physically and mentally.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

If I could change anything in this organization, it would be to provide a public relations person to help with fund raising. Karen and Ray Stark, the organizers, are run ragged looking for support. Non-profits are all trying for the same funds, a limited amount, and many hands out.

More feedback...

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

What one change could this group make that would improve your volunteer experience?

Nothing...Karen and Ray work as hard, or harder, than any of the volunteers, setting an example that is hard to beat. Our location is central and acceptable, the other volunteers are remarkable people, and the work we do is beyond helpful, it is life-changing...for the supporters and the Troops that receive the CARE packages.

Did your volunteer experience have an effect on you? (teaching you a new skill, or introducing new friends, etc.)

The folks that volunteer at THP are all of the same heart. Supporting the Troops in harm's way is our privilege, a duty to our country and the men and women who serve in the military.

How did this volunteer experience make you feel?

Absolutely wonderful! It is great fun to work at THP and the response letters from the Troops who receive the CARE packages is uplifting and heart-breaking at the same time. They are so far from home and loved ones, these packages are just a touch of home and love from stranagers who support them. It makes me proud to be one of those strangers!

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2011

November 9, 2012

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1 previous review
October 25, 2011

Although I am not physically able to volunteer at The Hugs Project, my Mother and I donate fabric to this organization. I have also gotten donations of tooth brushes, tooth paste and dental floss fro... more

November 9, 2012

I have been a member of The Hugs Project Oklahoma City for the past few years. Due to health problems, I have not been able to participate except through donations of fabric to make Cool Ties (Hugs) and other items to put in the Care Packages to send to our Military men and women. When I had family members serving overseas, The Hugs Project made sure they received a Care Package. They work very hard and are very dedicated to our Military men and women.

More feedback...

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

October 25, 2011
1 person found this review helpful

Although I am not physically able to volunteer at The Hugs Project, my Mother and I donate fabric to this organization. I have also gotten donations of tooth brushes, tooth paste and dental floss from my dentist. I have family members who have donated their time. My daughter is an Extreme Couponer and has donated hygiene items, non-perishable food items. Our family LOVES our military men and women and The Hugs Project is a remarkable organization. God Bless America and this organization for their hard work.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

I had a military person serving overseas and The Hugs Project sent them items they requested and needed.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

The only change I could think of is that we have more funding to help supply the items this organization needs to send to our military men and women.

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