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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”.

Target demographics: Troops and Veterans.

Direct beneficiaries per year: more people than even imaginable. No package is ever kept for the individual Troop to which it is sent. They throw their arms open wide and say, "Hey, come grab something!!" to all their battle buddies.

Geographic areas served: all areas where we can be of service

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

248 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

8

Volunteer

Rating: 5

We have been sending care packages to deployed troops since 2004. In recent years we have also begun to provide FREE hyperbaric oxygen treatments (HBOT) to ALL veterans in conjunction with The Patriot Clinic. Both of these organizations are 100% volunteer run. I support both of these charities with my time and money. These two groups are the largest donations in my budget. I am fully confident that every dime they receive is spent to help our brave men and women.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I started helping The Hugs project a few years ago. I joined after our grandson left for Iraq. There were many other groups that I am involved in but The Hugs Project is one that I enjoyed the best. I don't do as much now, too old lol but they are still the best.

2 Jonathan2345

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Being down range you don't get the luxuries that we take for granted here in America every day.
You don't have 24 hour access to stores or even showers for that matter, so something like a box of some baby wipes goes a long way to someone who is sleeping in a hole in the ground...literally!
We have guys that risk their lives doing convoys just to get care packages to others who are in harsher terrain! Those who receive these packages are always in great spirits!! When you're talking about being in a war zone and having all of the same problems you still have on the home front like bills, deaths in the family, divorce, stress in general that makes you just want to quit...that little piece of Heaven that's a HUGS Care Package is all someone needs to keep going! Keep it up HUGS! You're loved by more than you know!

1 Mary2345678910111213141516

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have worked with the Hugs project for about 7an half years I have done sewing and helped where ever needed All people who work there donate their time and materials. I enjoydonating my time to this worth while project giving care packages to our soldiers in harms way sending a little home to them. It makes me proud when we get a letter from a soldiers thanking us for the item we send .
Huggs, sox , drink mixes. home made cookies
When my nephew was over seas he told me when receiving the huggs box was a bright momentof that day and he had lots of help to open his box

1 Rick2345

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Some bands that I play in had the chance to perform at a HUGS. We practiced several weeks getting ready and had a really good time working with the volunteers and learning more about HUGS. The letters from the troops were very moving and rewarding.
As a civilian, I'm really glad to know there are organizations like HUGS that give comfort to our troops who are fighting for our country while we go about life as normal.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Karen Stark and everyone at the Hugs Project is selflessly committed to the mission of extending a heartfelt thank you to every soldier serving in today's military, especially those in harm's way. I have spent enough time volunteering and helping pack boxes, write letters, make cool ties, and am constantly amazed at this organization's tireless effort. I have never been so personally motivated and inspired as I have by the Hugs Project and the hearts behind it. I have seen the good it does first hand and have had the joy and honor of realizing the huge emotional impact that one care package and one note means to each and every troop that recieves them. I have come to value more deeply the importance of the human spirit and how it can be changed through The Hugs Project.
I attended a small carnival outside OKC with the Hugs Project where we set up a small booth trying to gain funds to help our soldiers, and to reach out and inspire others to be greatful for their sacrifices. It poured rain and was cold, but we did not pack up, instead Karen and I huddled in the back of her van, continuing to make things we could send to the troops. When the rain cleared a man stopped by and gave us all a heartfelt thank you and told us of how he was deeply discouraged after returning to the states from his time of service and to see minimal gratitude from other citizens and it motivated him to see what we were doing and he had actually recieved our packages overseas and said that they had boosted the morale of his fellow men in arms. I broke down and cried, and hugged this perfect stranger. There is no deeper connection to humanity than that which I have experienced with the Hugs Project. This organization and It's mission deserve all the recognition they can be given. Thank you Hugs!!

Review from Guidestar

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

My nephew deployed for his third tour. The first two years, I was able to send him packages. This time I could not. Thankfully, I met someone who is actively involved in HUGS. I gave her the APO address, and packages have been going to Jason and his troops ever since. I am so thankful. THEY are even more thankful. This organization is a true blessing.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

As a Gold Star Mother who's Army Soldier Son was KIA in 2005 in Iraq and Mom of a 2nd Soldier Son, who deployed twice to very dangerous areas in Iraq, I know first-hand how important The Hugs Project is for Troops morale and "family support back home" during the toughest times! The Hugs Project is the epitome of good neighbors, good friends and greatttt Americans by their actions!!! These volunteers are about the hardest working Americans you will ever know! Who always rise to the bar to help our Troops over and over again!

Year after year, The Hugs Project Volunteers selflessly... and tirelessly..must raise donation funds to create, pack and ship thousands of much needed care boxes and cool ties to our Troops serving on the front lines overseas. Their care boxes are life lines from home to our Troops... letting them know some fellow Americans remember them and their daily sacrifices while they courageously serve far from home!! I heard directly from my Sgt. Soldier Son when based in the dessert, in a primitive forward operating base with 130 degree heat, no running water and short supplies receiving care boxes from The Hugs Project totally renewed Soldiers morale and shared goodwill! The Soldiers commented "they don't know what they would have done without those care boxes, as they were reall morale life savers!" A care box and letters can be one of the best ways to let our Soldiers know they aren't forgotten and are appreciated for their service to our nation during a time of war. A box so small that means so much!! For a lifetime of "caring" memories for our Troops! But, The Hugs Project cannot handle this load alone and also need help and support!

Many Americans just assume that care boxes to our Troops are made up and shipped from our military facilities free of charge. That is quite an incorrect assumption as each care box made costs The Hugs Project over $10 dollars a box to be mailed, and the mail carrier is the United States Post Office, not shipping on military cargo planes. And items in the care boxes depend on the donations received or funds sent in to buy the supplies packed. Yearly the costs run into multiple thousands of dollars easily just to continue to send our American Troops a caring box from home filled with love...and hugs!

As community neighbors, The Hugs Project members also kindly and actively support other non profit military support groups in Oklahoma and try to work with them often on Troop projects such as "welcome events at Christmas/ Exodus" at the OKC airport, deployment ceremonies for the Oklahoma 45th Infantry Army and Air National Guard, and numerous statewide and nationwide Troop support events yearly. Also, as a former chapter President of a fellow military non profit support group, The Hugs Project generously helped my organization on several occasions with their time and services and were wonderful partners to work with in helping "get" care boxes sent to our Soldiers. They were much appreciated in their fellow support!

And until the last of our brave Troops are able to return home, The Hugs Project wants to keep remembering our Warriors with hearfelt support and care boxes filled with cool ties and much needed supplies. Please help them with their admirable and continuing goal!
The Hugs Project is a truly outstanding and wonderful organization!!
They are America at it's best!

Jan Martin
Gold Star Mother and former Blue Star Mother
Edmond, OK

Review from Guidestar

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

So there I was sitting in a tent in Afghanistan during Christmas, away from my friends, family, and about anyone who cared when in walked a sergeant with a big box full of goodies. I would have a Christmas presant afterall. Thanks to the Hugs Project everyone in that tent got to have a little something nice this Christmas. Thank you Hugs Project!

1 Mick W.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Some of our scout troop helped HUGS in OKC a couple of years ago for service time. I have 3 sons who are scouts and they enjoyed working to help our troops try to enjoy a few of the comforts of home. From what I have read in email attachments to HUGS, our efforts were much appreciated. I hope that our troop will volunteer again for this much worthy cause.

M Welch

1 Edward H.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

II am a retired Vietnam Veteran. When I was serving in Southeast Asia there was not any origination doing what the Hugs Project is doing. It would have been great to receive packages from people that you did not know and know that they really did care about what we were doing and how we were.
When we retuned from Southeast Asia we were spit on, called names and look at as the sum of the earth.
The Men and Women that serve this country today deserve better and this a group of great people that are showing them that there is people who do care about what they are doing and how they are living. They do a great job of getting needed supplies to the Men and Women of our arm forces.
Karen and all of her volunteers are to be commended for all the hard work and long hours that they put in.
I would have loved to have received a package and support that they give everyone.
I have been a volunteer for a short time but due to work requirements I can not spend as much time helping all that I want.

1 Karen K.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I love The Hugs Project because the packages sent to our troops touch them on a personal level. Every care package is packed with – well, much care. We often think about the troops and wish we could let them know how much we appreciate their sacrifice. The Hugs Projects sends encouragement from “home” to our troops and, of course, the true vision of the “hug” is brilliant – a cooling tie that will help lower the body’s temperature when in the heat. A real source of comfort physically as well as emotionally. We receive an e-mail each week with “thank you’s” from the troops and it’s heartwarming to read how they felt when the received their package, often sharing it with everyone they can. I wish we could send every service man and woman a package from The Hugs Project…they deserve it! They deserve our best for defending our country and our home.

Review from Guidestar

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Our daughter is in Afghanistan and their Unit has been put in a camp with the Nato soldiers away from the other Americans. She and the other members of the Unit have received boxes of goods from your organization. The receipt was completely unexpected, a wonderful suprise and spirit lifting for them all. The smallest package or card received by a soldier helps them make it though the day and lets them know they are not forgotten. Please keep up the good deed. Our soldiers look forward to it and depend on it.

Review from Guidestar

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Not only does this organization help and support troops in need of simple yet scarce supplies, but they also provide a fun and social environment for those with little to do or those who just need a reason to get out of the house. These people are literally some of the nicest people anyone could ever meet. If you need some community service hours, they're there to help. If you wanna get out of the Lazy-Boy and do somethin productive, they're there to provide. If you want to help out the troops over seas fighting for our freedom, whether they are a relative, a loved one, or just a friend, the Hugs project is the place to be. I personally love every moment I'm there, packing care packages, ironing hugs, or even bagging up chocolate. There's many jobs available, creative jobs for the kids and even simple jobs like sowing and ironing for those who need to sit and still be productive.

Review from Guidestar

1 Ruth R.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The Hugs Project is an awesome group of really friendly, wonderful people - all working together for a common goal - to let our fine young people serving in Afghanistan and Iraq know how much we support and appreciate all that they do - (the fact that we have so much fun and laughter why doing so shouldn't count, but it does!) It is amazing to me to watch, when I volunteer each week, everyone pitch in, figure out as an all volunteer what/how needs doing and "get 'er done." Awesome!

Review from Guidestar

1 Granny F.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My Father was career Navy, having served in the "Silent Service" in WWII, Korea, Vietnam. He was a Naval Recruiter during the Vietnam war. I saw first hand how poorly many treat those who serve to keep us free and vowed to do all in my power when I had a chance to make sure those who serve now know how important they are and how much we support them. When I volunteer every week I see men and women of all ages and all back grounds working together to do just that and am so thankful to be given the opportunity to volunteer at Hugs. The best days at Hugs are when any of my Grandchildren are able to go with me - they learn first hand about the sacrifices our military makes.

Review from Guidestar

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I love working with the Hugs Project because it provides me with a great way to give simething back to the men and women serving in harm's way to provide me with the freedoms I enjoy every day. I can use my everyday skills to create things useful to others. The care packages we put together contain common supplies we take for granted here in the US, but which may be impossible to get where our service men and women are posted on foreign soil. When was the last time you had to go without basic hygiene supplies like toothpaste, shampoo, or soap? I know I would be lost without them. I can't imagine living in a tent (or less) and not having access to the simplest things. The Hugs Project is filling a big void and the volunteers who serve are wonderful supporters of our troops. I highly recommend this organization to anyone who wants to help our sons and daughters survive their service abroad.

Review from Guidestar

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

MY HUSBAND I HAVE WORKED AT OR SUPPORTED THE HUGS PROJECT FOR SEVERAL YEARS AND ARE ALWAYS AMAZED AT THE DEVOTION AND CARING OF ALL VOLUNTEERS. THEY PUT A LOT OF THOUGHT INTO WHAT GOES INTO THE BOXES AND THE LETTERS COMING FROM THE TROOPS EXPRESS THEIR GREAT APPRECIATION. ALL THIS ENCOURAGES US TO GIVE AS MUCH AS WE CAN AFFORD BECAUSE IT IS SO GREATLY NEEDED AND APPRECIATED.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This is a wonderful organization that is nothing else is filled with heart. n
their is not one voluteer or doner that does not put more then 100 percent in everything they do to support our men and women in harms way.

I get so much enjoyment working with this special group of men and women who show everyday how much doing for others mean to them. Being a part of this organzation has also made me a better person and so much fullfillment in helping this group give to our service personal.

This is an important organization in what it does. they give our service men and women reinforcement in that this country truely supports our men and women in the job that they were called to do to protect us so we are allowed to do the things we do in our daily lives . In this case i am allowed to volunteer to give back to them . May they be kept safe.

Review from Guidestar

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I work at the FAA and received an email that volunteers were needed for the HUGS Project to pack boxes for the troops. My husband and I wanted to show support for the troops who give their all for their Country. We were happy to be a part of the team that sent 4,000 boxes to the troops this Christmas 2010. We are proud of the men and women who fight for our freedom. We will continue to support the HUGS project for as long as we have troops supporting us!

Review from Guidestar

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I began volunteering for Hugs when my son expressed interest in joining the Air Force while in college. Later, when he was sent to Iraq, we sent several care packages to him. He was always so encouraged to get the boxes and shared them with as many people as he could. Last fall he was transferred to a different base and as he unpacked, he found the special things he had saved from his "Hug boxes." He said it was as if he was receiving those boxes all over again. I am proud to be a part of an organization that makes our military feel appreciated.

Review from Guidestar

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

The mail package that I received from The Hugs Project (OKC) while I am in Iraq with the military was incredible. The package contained so many different items that it had something for everyone. I shared the package with other military members where I work and they greatly enjoyed the various snacks, hygiene items and reading material.

Beyond the physical usefulness of the items, it was a great morale booster to get a package out of the blue, from people that don't know me.

The Hugs Project (OKC) is really helping out military members who are deployed overseas through their care packages.

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am 71 & my husband is 73 & we have been volunteers since the year it was organized. We can think of no better group to work for than The Hugs Project which focuses on helping our troops in harm's way. Will always remember young lady who wrote that she never got any mail. Had no family. Got a package from Hugs & she cried because someone cared enough to send her a box & a letter of appreciation for her service to the USA. No volunteer is turned away. We need cutters, sewers, ironers, packers, letter writers. Small children draw pictures for the troops & the troops love it. One Sunday school class wrote letters of appreciation & the troops loved that & replied to the kids.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I've seen the thousands of boxes that The Hugs Project sends to troops at Christmas time. They also send 40-50 boxes each week throughout the year. The feedback from the troops indicates that they cannot believe the variety of things that can be packed into one box. They receive handmade portable games, toiletries, letters, flash drives, chocolate (even in the summer) and much more. One of the most appreciated gifts seems to be socks.

Cooling ties were the first things that were sent. They can cool a body's core temperature by several degrees and have been known to save the lives of soldiers suffering from heat stroke. Of course, thousands of these are still sent out every year.

The troops are very appreciative that people at home are working so hard to support them. They usually share with others in their unit so one package goes a long way in letting our troops know someone cares.

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I helped with HUGS a couple years back when they were sending school supplies overseas. I work a lot so I do not get to come help much but respect the work they do. They helped my brother when he was overseas (both deployments).

Volunteer

Rating: 5

While doing a class project based on a non-profit organization, I met Karen with The Hugs Project. The Hugs Project is a great organization for our troops. Karen and her volunteers are able to offer our guys and gals over in the Middle East a little bit of home, something that our troops desparately need. Please help Karen and Hugs be able to send a little more home to our troops who cannot be here.

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 4

My husband and I started working with HUGS about 4 years ago. He became their primary HUGS material cutter. Having a system all of his own, I just assisted. Over the years, we think he cut over 100,000 of the 5" x 45" strips for the HUGS. He served in the Navy Reserves during the 1960's and was so pleased that he could help the troops now.
Sadly, he died in June of 2010. So many of the HUGS volunteers were at his service and sent cards and flowers. I am reminded constantly of his untiring work. I hope to "pick up the scissors" soon and begin cutting more material for HUGS. In November, family members and friends gathered to help pack boxes in Bob's memory. I'm sure he was smiling down on us.

Review from Guidestar

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I met Karen at the Miami Airport in Dec. and was blown away at her dedication and support she gives to our troops!!!This project (and Karen) are a blessing to the troops and to all of us who are being helped by our troops putting their lives on the line for our Freedom!!! God Bless Karen and the Hugs Project!!!!

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The girls volunteered over 225 collective hours during their project year. The most important thing the girls learned is what it means to serve others and how even a 9 year old can make a difference in the life of another human being.

Review from Guidestar

Allesan A.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I've been with the HUGS Project for 6 years. I started when Karen was staying in a hotel where I worked. She handed me a knifty knitter and said "Here, you're just sitting around. Make a hat for a soldier!" So I did and have been volunteering as regularly as I can . My brother in law has been deployed twice and has recieved multiple packages which he distributes to his men. Another friend of mine from college is also an Army officer and has done the same. HUGS does so much good for so many people! They give people in Central Oklahoma a place to help our troops! Please consider donating or volunteering. Our men and women need all love from home that they can get!

Donor

Rating: 5

I cannot thank The Hugs Project enough for all they do for our Troops! They are right there supporting every request they receive of a need for our Troops. I have submitted several names to them of friends in Iraq to include for my sister and The Hugs Project put them on their care package mailing list and sent them wonderful, wonderful packages! They cannot do enough for our Troops no matter what! It's not a job to them, it's Tender Loving Care for those we love who are in harm's way! I salute The Hugs Project!

Review from Guidestar

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I have Volunteered a few hours here & there to help the HUGS Project, but its been awhile since I've been able to make time to assist these awesome people who pour their lives into providing real essentials wih a healthy dose of home (the great USA) and love into boxes shipped across the miles to our men and women serving and sacrificing their very lives for our freedom. That's why I've marked my role as a general member of the public; I don't feel like I deserve to be in the same category as those who volunteer on a regular basis week after week, day after day to provide this remarkable service that they provide.

It's an honor for me to say that I've even been a part of this great organization & to have known Ray & Karen Stark. They definitely deserve this $5000 award and will put it to good use paying for shipping these donations to the wonderful men and women of our US armed services.

Review from Guidestar

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Several years ago I met some "Hugs" volunteers at a booth at "Global Oklahoma". They told me what they do to support our troops (America's bravest and strongest men and women). Because I do not take my freedoms for granted, "The Hugs Project" gave me a way to give the support to our troops that was lacking in the Vietnam era. My sister and I started volunteering weekly to sew, iron, and fill the cooling neckties (hugs) that have saved lives.
Although I cannot volunteer consistently, when I can, I go to "Crossroads" to help by sewing, by bagging snacks, first aid kits , and stationary packs, and by wrapping small, useful gifts. With the little money I can spare and the coupons that I can sometimes double, I watch for sales to buy coffee and tea, socks, hygene products andplaying cards, Chex mix, fig bars and raisins, as well as protein foods such as tuna, sardines, and peanut butter. I go to the thrift stores on half price days to collect mugs and tins, nylons to make "soaps on a rope", and 100% cotton sheets to dye (with tea if I can't afford dye) and cut out "hugs" and "kisses" (warming hat liners). Sometimes I can find school supplies and small toys for the troops to give to the children to lessen their fear of Americans. At home I have made quilt tops to back with fleece from fabrics I've gotten from " The Hugs Project". My husband (a Vietnam veteran) makes fudge that I know the troops appreciate. "The Hugs Project" has provided me with peanut butter, sugar, peanuts and syrup to make lots of peanut patties for the Christmas packages. When I have had no money to work with my grandchildren and I cheerfully collect leaves to press and send to troops serving in the desert (as reminders of home).
In early December 2010 I was filled with a sense of pride in our troops from Tinker AFB and all of the volunteers of all ages who turned out to help man two lines (in a bucket brigade fasion) in an effort to load mail trucks with 4,000 care packages; a goal that seemed impossible the week before.
The "Hugs Project" needs money for postage and for items that have not been donated in order to provide these "we care" packages that give needed moral support to the troops who sacrifice so much for our country.

Review from Guidestar

1

Board Member

Rating: 5

The Hugs Project brightened the lives of over 6300 soldiers last year with care packages filled with "Hugs" cooling ties, food, candy, socks, personal hygiene items, books, games, powdered drink mixes, coffee, mini-binoculars, solar powered LED flashlights, handknitted neck pillows, etc. When needs arose for foot powder or socks, the troops contacted us for help! We have also been able to supply them with over 120 sewing machines and 2 wheelchairs for them to present to local citizens in their "Hearts and Minds" program which is meant to change opinions of Americans in the hearts and minds of the Middle Eastern citizens.

Review from Guidestar

1

Donor

Rating: 5

The Hugs Project provides such needed supplies to our troops overseas but they provide much more than that. They send a message to our troops that we support them and recognize their sacrifices and efforts. The soldiers leave their loved ones, their homes and sometimes their jobs to fight for what we believe in. They need to know we care. I began supporting this project because my husband's son was killed in Iraq and we wanted the troops to know that people here understand their sacrifice, sometimes with their life.

Review from Guidestar

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

We have supported the "hugs" project for over 5 years now and have spread the word to others who we know are interested in the welfare of our military and who want to "do something" to support our troops.
We found that many people want to help and are thrilled to read the letters of thanks from those heroes who receive the "hugs" packages.
The expressions of amazement from the service members who open their packages, from total strangers, and find just what they need encourages us to spread the word through our church, our circle of friends and in other organizations who in turn contribute time and money. Being retired military, we can relate to the loneliness and isolation of our soldiers, so we want to do what we can for them. A group of RV owners that we informed has made over 2000 "hugs" cooling ties, hundreds of games and teddy bears, and thousands of prayer rocks. They say it is the least they can do to say "thank you" to our deserving military heroes.

Review from Guidestar

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

For sometime a group of ladies in my church have made "Hugs Love Bears" to be sent to the service people to give out to children in troubled areas. We wondered if the task was productive until we heard from a
gentleman serving in Irag about a child who had received a bear. The story was very heart warming. So - we continue to make the bears. Hopefully we will be able to do others items in the future. We did at one time provide items like socks. Just receiving something from home helps show that we care and pray for safe journeys.

Review from Guidestar

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I became a volunteer for The Hugs Project to support and thank our troops. I am a former military wife and know from personal experience the difficulties and sacrifices our troops make every day. They give up their homes, their families, and their very lives to keep us safe. It is my pleasure and honor to help bring a little comfort to them.

1 Cheri H.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I became a volunteer for 3 specific reasons. My son started getting care packages when he served in Iraq so I was curious about these strangers showing such support for him. I found a wonderful, diverse group of people with a single purpose; to send love and support to our troops. Finally it is the only non-profit organization I know of that spends 100% of its funds to fulfill its mission. There are no paid salaries, all of the equipment was donated, and even their work space is donated.

I am honored to be a part of this organization and look forward to continuing as they send love and support to our 3500 Oklahoma National Guard members deploying to Afghanstan.

Review from Guidestar

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am writing in support of the Hugs Project started by Karen Stark. Just reading letters from the military who have received care packages is proof that this is so appreciated. I have made dozens of the cooling ties that are included in the care packages. Such an easy way to help out. There are so many volunteers, and this group has expanded to groups all over the USA. Karen is a tireless worker with excellent leadership and managerial abilities. She keeps us all enthused, such a great group to work with.

Review from Guidestar

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

With so many of our armed forces in harms way, it is so good to know that with the HUGS project, they are not forgotten. HUGS truly cares about our military and their need to be taken care of by the rest of us.

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The Hugs Project has been a very rewarding project for my Mother and myself because it allows us to serve those military personnel who are serving their country in harm's way. Because of the letters and emails received from the troops, I know the care package we construct and send make a difference and help make a difficult situation better. I believe these packages help sustain morale and improve the physical conditions endured on a daily basis. Every year, The Hugs Project does more and better services than the year before because we care.

Review from Guidestar

Maria W.

Donor

Rating: 5

I donate to this program because the money goes where they say it does. I have been there once and witnessed the dedication of the volunteers. Their untiring devotion to our servicemen and women serving in harms way is amazing. Then my son was deployed, they sent him a care package to share with his unit. Upon my son's second deployment the first thing he asked for was some hugs for his men. They provide much needed relief in a serious area of the world. Then when my son's unit was hit with several injuries, they sent another package with some cheer items. These men and women serve our military in a great unselfish act of kindness providing needed relief from the heat and a taste of home which keeps their moral up, which is vital to their survival.

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Dedication, hard work, and patriotism are the three descriptive words that immediately come to mind when I think of the Hugs Project. Volunteering with them is a great experience in that there isn't a moment they are not working towards their awesome goals. Care packages are consistantly being packed, cooling ties and special gifts being made, and encouraging and supportive stories about the men and women serving overseas are talked about with great knowledge and compassion. Each time I volunteer (during this Christmas season, when 4,000 packages were put together, for example), I know for a fact fellow Americans are being provided with necessities and love from the volunteers.

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 4

I know when I give to the HUGS Project that my money and my time will be well spent. The HUGS Project has no paid staff or even rent fees to consume donations. The vast majority of the monies donated goes for postage to get as many packages as possible into the hands of our brave men and women serving in harm's way abroad.







My son was one of those young men. During his 15 month deployment he received a package from the HUGS project which he shared with the men and women he worked with--including Iraqis assisting the military. Each package we are able to send touches many--not only with essential things like food, HUGS, and survival bracelets; not only with the caring shown by all the little things thoughtfully included; not only by providing an opportunity for our soldiers to share with each other and those they are there to help; but also by impacting the lives of every person involved in those packages in a positive way. The person who donates money or goods and those physically filling the boxes are blessed. The recipients not only have their living conditions improved by the contents but are blessed by the love and caring behind each package.

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN
My husband and me have been working with the Hugs Project for over 3 years. We have no one in service, but The Lord has blessed us in many ways so we want to give back. We look forward to Saturdays when we open the office in Oklahoma City, OK. and greet the volunteers who come to work. We assign them a job.

This project has opened up a new life for us. He is 84 and I'm 83.

Being Senior Citizens, our family wants us, but since they have their own families they don't always need us, so this fills that need.

Sincerely, Dennis and Helen Miller

Lauren P.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I don't live in OK, but I went to help with a few of my friends and I LOVED it! I want to see more of this type of projects EVERYWHERE! Keep up the good work! You are an inspiration and you are appreciated!

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am part of an organization that began working with HUGS last year and we have tried to come monthly ever since. When seeing the passion all of the workers have for this job, it's hard to not want to work just as hard. With so many stories told from the ladies (there are some men too!), we can honestly say we are making a difference in the lives of soldiers and heroes. Some projects seem out there, but we know those fighting overseas love all they get and so we just love to join the HUGS project and help.

Review from Guidestar

General Member of the Public

Rating: 4

I visited the website to submit my sons name for a care package and I also visited the location in Crossroads Mall. I found a multitude of items being boxed for shipment. I was in awe of the community outpouring for this project. When it's that one soldier or airman, sailor or marine who doesn't have much family and no one really writes, receives a package. What a big surprise, someone cares, someone knows I am here and appreciates what I am doing for "Our Country". It's not what is in the package so much as the "HUG" it gives that service member.
Thank You HUGS Project INC.

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The Hugs Project has been so helpful to so many of our military staff. Living in a military town, I see troops come and go and have spoken to many of them and they always say how much the appriciate getting packages and items during their deployment time. This group has worked with so many groups like the one that I belong to to help us to learn what items need to be sent. Great Job Hugs!

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I only spent a few weeks working with the HUGS project in OKC before I moved to another state. I have never been with a more dedicated and enthusiastic group of people. They believe wholeheartedly in what they do and helping them lets us be connected to the men who are risking their lives for us. Please help them continue the wonderful work that they do.

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I was looking for project for my Boy Scout Eagle project when I found The Hugs Project in 2009. I have been involved with them ever since. I like helping the soldiers and that is what this group does.

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The HUGS Project has many volunteers that, like myself, give time, money and goods because the work serves a much higher purpose. The joy I receive from volunteering knowing that what I do provides more than joy - it often fills a void in the life of a deployed soldier. Often, these soldiers are so grateful that we cared enough to send a box of needed and cherished items they write to us and they sometimes drop by to give a personal thanks. When I realize what our work means to a deployed individual I am filled with pride for our fighting men and the HUGS Project.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have volunteered with The Hugs Project for a couple of years now. They are a great group of patriots. They love our soldiers and work tirelessly to send them care packages. At Christmas time, they send out about 4000 packages. That's over $40,000 in postage alone! The leaders of the group are the most dedicated people I have ever met. It is an honor to be a part of this group.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am very new to volunteering with the Hugs Project and I've only had a chance to help a couple of times. It didn't take long to realize the Hugs Project folks are extremely dedicated in ministering to our troops. When it comes to care packages, they cover all the basis. Treats, good reading, nifty little games for our troops to share with each other and play. And lots more great things in those packages. Can anyone say? KEEP 'EM COMING HUGS!!! The Hugs Project must go on. I cannot imagine them not being around. I know many troops have been blessed by them. I look forward to helping them out more in the near future.

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am starting my 3rd year volunteering with The Hugs Project one day per week (sometimes more). I have a great time supporting our troops overseas and enjoying the company of fellow volunteers (all great people). Our "pay" is the joy we receive in reading letters and emails sent to us from the troops expressing their appreciation and their knowing that someone at home cares about them. Ray & Karen Stark work hard, unpaid, long hours to see that as many "care packages" as possible are packed and sent to our "defenders of freedom". DW-OKC

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I volunteer with the college group I'm involved in and we love coming to the HUGS Project. To say these people are passionate is a true understatement. Everyone who walks in the store knows the purpose behind all that they do. Not one single thing is wasted and much thought goes into the package contents. It is a great cause and I will definitely support them in the future.

10

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Aloha Ohana, Just want to let you all know that what you're doing for us back home echoes great joy for us here in Kabul, Afghanistan. Mahalo Joe Deguzman (Navy Chief)

Comments ( 1 )

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TheHugsLady 03/31/2010

Get us soe names for the others, Chief and we'll get right on it. Thanks, Karen

12

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This is an outstanding orgnaization that has taken the time to reach out to deployed service members. It means that world to each of us to get a box full of goodies from the home front. The support is phenomenal and it is the thoughtfulness that keeps us motivate to keep pushing through to accomplish the mission. I happened to receive a couple of boxes while deployed to Kabul Afghanistan.

12

Client Served

Rating: 5

When I was serving in the Middle East I was at my lowest. My family all died when I was younger so I had no one supporting me. When mail was called, I was the only one in my unit that knew there would be nothing for me; not everyone received things but at least they had that hope. Not me, I knew no one even cared that I was serving my country far from home. But, one day that changed. When my friend came back from picking up mail, he had a huge smile as he laid a box on the foot of my cot. I told him he’d made a mistake but he pointed to my name on the label and said, “Isn’t that you?” I couldn’t believe it but man, I cried like a baby when I realized it wasn’t a dream. Someone knew. Someone cared. It was from the Oklahoma City chapter of The Hugs Project and their letter said that they appreciated me and that they respected me for the job I was doing. Reading that, I cried even harder. You can never know how good I felt and still feel even now. I hope that someday, I can meet some of these good people so that I can throw my arms around their necks and let them know that they made a difference in the life of some lonely soldiers far from home…especially this one. Respectfully, Jessica Stanwick

13

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The Hugs Project has given me a way to personally thank the men and women who are serving our country and facing danger to make certain our country remains safe. My late friend Jim Johnson was able to have his son placed on the list of brave men who received boxes. His son shared his gifts with those who served with him. Jim was proud of his son and grateful to an organization who let us volunteer to show those serving our country our pride in them and our gratitude for them. Robert B. Weil

17

Client Served

Rating: 5

I am currently deployed to Iraq and they have sent my unit packages for every Holiday and even just random care pacakages. Everything they send is useful and really boosts the morale of the unit. It is great to see a group of people that are this supportive of the troops, keep up the good work! Kenny

9

Client Served

Rating: 5

Thank you so much for your support of all of us deployed to foreign lands! What you do reminds us of how great a nation we have! God Bless America! - Gordon, Iraq

6

Client Served

Rating: 5

We appreciate all the support of the volunteers back home. It is tough to be away from loved ones for such long periods and it means a lot when we are deployed to receive messages and packages. Thanks for all that you are doing. Know that it is a great boost over here and we truley appreciate the effort and support from all of you back home!!

9

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Thank you to the Hugs Project for ensuring that there's always someone back home who appreciates the service that we do for our country.