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Hugs Project Incorporated

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Citizen Participation, Human Services, Military & Veterans Organizations, Veterans, Women, Womens Service Clubs

Mission: Our mission is to give a “hug” (handmade item of warmth or cooling depending on season) to every American serving in the Middle East. We want every deployed troop to know we support their mission to protect our freedoms & to provide freedom to the people of the Middle East. This is our way of saying “Thank you, we appreciate you for serving our country”.

Programs: Prepare care packages for shipment to war zones for active militarypersonnel. Each care package contains food, personal hygiene items,and hand-sewn items.

Community Stories

233 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

5 wildcatfan45

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I went to a Marine reunion in OK in 2006 and met Karen and Ray who started this project. I was so impressed with what they were doing, and the fact that it was 100% volunteer that I brought it to Western KY. I found in short order that our troops appreciated this effort a great deal. My son who served in Iraq told me "you know dad, I love the packages you send me, you know me so well you know just what to send. But, when I get a package from Ok, Tx, Fl, NY or some other place from people I don't even know, it means so much. Those are people who don't "have" to support me but they do. And it's special". I also found that there were SO MANY of our troops that were not getting ANYTHING from home. The more involved I got, the bigger our small group got. THANK YOU to this project for allowing us to be a part of a great group of people who's only objective is to show love and support to those who deserve it so much. Our troops give their all for us, the least we can do is show them we care. Thanks to The Hugs Project and it's affiliates all over the world, we are able to do that in a big way. Thanks to the donors and volunteers, it is a success. BUT, in order for it to continue, it takes YOU. Donors and volunteers are needed always. The more donors and volunteers, the more love and support that can be shown. No matter how large or how small, everyone can do something. Donate funds, donate items or donate your time... just do something to show your support.

4

Volunteer

Rating: 5

i have been a member of the hugs projects for several years..the people are wonderful..we all come together like a family and make things happen for our troops.. I have submitted troops that needed care packages and have never been denied one sent to anyone and great reviews from the recipients. Love this organization and we all love and support our troops and each other.

9

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I became familiar with the organization “The HUGS Project” several years ago when I was looking for a way to support our troops. I sew for my “sanity” breaks and discovered I could not only sew for “me time” in the evenings but also help the troops at the same time. I then started recruiting other friends to help me sew and it started evolving in other ways as well. I felt I could still do so much more. I knew Karen and her crew sent care packages to the troops as well as letters of support and to help bring comfort and joy to someone's day. I asked Karen for a name of a soldier to write to about 6 months later and it has been increasing since that day. This past Christmas my family and friends had a care package drive and knit –a-thon. We collected 125 knitted or crocheted washcloths, 75 knitted wool hats, 300 hand made Christmas stockings and the stuff to fill them with, and over 300 handmade Christmas cards with blessing for our troops from a local 5th grade class. We packaged up and shipped off over 400 lbs of oatmeal, hot chocolate mix, snacks, candy and chocolate to the troops. If it wasn’t for The HUGS project we would not have been able to rally this much support and have a place to ship to our troops. I currently send care packages to a chaplain in the remote hills of Afghanistan with a group large of men. These guys have no PX or base and so anything that is sent is greatly appreciated. I am currently sending to my 3rd Chaplain at this same location and my current as well as the 2 previous men who have held this position always are grateful for anything they get. I also send letters and care packages to a wonderful young gal in Afghanistan and a Maj in Iraq. Over the past several years I have support numerous personnel serving in the middle east and as one comes home and get a new name of someone else to ship to. As I do not know of anyone serving in the military but feel I would like to brighten up someone’s day. Karen and the HUGS Project has introduced me to some pretty awesome people who support, sew for and send care packages to our troops. My husband and I are truly blessed that I stumbled across The HUGS Project website and feel we have been able to help in our small way. Anything we can do to help support Karen and The HUGS Project in making our troops feel a little piece of home always makes a great day. Mark & Bev DeLisle South Haven, MI

13

Client Served

Rating: 5

Dear Oklahoma City Hugs Project, I am Lt Col C. Todd Prejean, Commander of the 441st Air Expeditionary Advisory Squadron currently deployed in Afghanistan. I just wanted to take the time to write a quick thank you note for the care packages that we received from your organization. I am unable to put into words the gratitude that we feel as a result of your selfless and patriotic gesture of goodwill. This is especially true during the holiday season where all my troops are far away from their loved ones. As you might imagine that are many needs to be filled in Afghanistan. Because we fly re-supply helicopters and the unforgiving terrain of Afghanistan, we are the only link to food supplies for many people. I would also like to tell you that some of the things you guys sent are being given to the Afghan children. Few Americans can comprehend the hardships and poverty some of these children in remote areas face. I did not think you would mind considering there is nothing more American than helping less fortunate people out. I wish I could explain to you the impact you have had on my unit as well as many Afghan locals. It is people like you that make America great. God Bless and Merry Christmas!

8

Volunteer

Rating: 5

HUGS is a great service for the troops...my son was a Marine killed in Iraq in November of 2005...We as parents had haeard of this serivce organization and they had sent 'love boxes' to him and other guys in his unit...prior to his death...After the shock and semi recovery we have found working with HUGS as a great comfort and source to feel we can help some other brave person. We have given both with our time and money --share the good HUGS has brought to so many

7

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have worked with the Hugs Chapter in Lilburn, Ga for several years now, and it's such a rewarding feeling to be able to do something for our Troops overseas in return for all they do for us. I look forward to the times that I can work with our group in making the hug ties, preparing packages or even gathering items for mailings. It's amazing how much something so 'trivial' to us, such as a Q-Tip can mean so much to someone in the 'fields'. It's the least I can do! I would like to thank the Oklahoma group for even starting the Hugs Project. It's touched so many lives. As a parent of a son who will be starting his military career in a couple of years, I'm relieved to know that there's a group like this that will help take care of some of his needs. Thanks Hugs Project - for all you do and for letting me help you do it!!!

5

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The only thing better than receiving a letter from home is receiving a package from home. The unfortunate reality is that many of our service members are forgotten or don't have a close circle of friends or family who regularly support them, especially while deployed. And even those troops who have support need to see and feel the gratitude of a grateful nation. The HUGS Project makes sure that our troops are not forgotten, that they understand they serve a nation that deeply appreciates their sacrifices. The packages sent by The HUGS Project to our deployed service members are done so well. The boxes are heartfelt and made with so much love and consideration. Not only are the boxes from the heart, but so many of the contents are useful in the field. From letters of thanks from grateful school children to foot powder and their famous COOL TIES, these packages make a difference to the individual troop and the morale of the unit he or she is serving. My personal experience with HUGS has been ongoing for nearly four months now. This past Christmas I served alongside hundreds of dedicated volunteers as nearly 4,000 troops received a HUG from home! It was an amazing experience I look forward to being a part of as long as our military is protecting our freedoms. What's more is that nearly every penny of every dollar in donations goes directly to the contents of the packages or to postage getting the boxes there. I highly commend the leadership of The HUGS Project for their tireless service and dedication to our miliary. From a former active duty Marine, I extend my highest commendation to the organization and the many incredible people that make up the volunteer force. You have a reputation for being faithful. So I salute you with a full-voiced "Semper Fi." Thank you for all that you do to support our troops around the world. Steven Anderson

7

Client Served

Rating: 5

I first heard of the HugsProject when I was home visiting my parents before deploying to Iraq. I made sure to donate what I could before leaving knowing first hand what Soldiers and Marines far from home are going through. I am currently deployed and part of a very small detachment unit and the HugsProject made us feel very special, no matter how many people we were. One of my soldiers missed the birth of his first child and the HugsProject was there, sending him warm wishes. I can't thank people enough who volunteer their time and keep the soldiers in their hearts and minds even after many years at war. Thank you HugsProject for doing what you do, you truely impact every recipient.

7

Volunteer

Rating: 5

HUGS Makes a difference for Troops and Volunteers I appreciate the impact that the HUGS Project has had on the families in our Girl Scout Troop. The HUGS Project is truly serving more than just the soldiers overseas- it is serving the volunteers and giving them a chance to have an impact on the world.