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HUGS PROJECT INCORPORATED
November 30, 2012

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

MY ROLE:
Volunteer

HUGS PROJECT INCORPORATED
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 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

MY ROLE:
Volunteer & I helped with many different projects,as were needed, such as working on the HUGS (fabric tubes containing water absorbing granuals, that when wet, reduce the bodys temperature by 5 degrees). I also packed CARE packages, of which 40-50 a week are sent ove.

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