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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

31 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

1 DrCoffee

Client Served

Rating: 5

They do what they say they will. They do it when they say they will. I think they are aces!!

Previous Stories
2

Board Member

Rating: 5

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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1 Donnie W.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Simply the best. Their love of God and country shine through.

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4

Client Served

Rating: 5

The Hugs Project supported me and my guys through a couple of tours too. You can’t find a better organization. They are aces!!!

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1 Military Supporter

Client Served

Rating: 5

This group is top notch. They care about those who are in harm's way!!

Previous Stories
1

Client Served

Rating: 5

Love what The Hugs Project does for those who remain in harm's way. Now, they are also working with clinics that treat PTSD and traumatic brain injury with Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy. Good stuff!!

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2 Beth143

Client Served

Rating: 5

My son and his Marine buddies benefitted from the Hugs every tour served in Iraq! Knowing people from home care did wonders for lifting their spirits! Thank you for all you do!

1 JarheadJustin

Client Served

Rating: 5

The Gals in my unit were thrilled anytime we got a box from TheHugsProject. We never knew what to expect inside. They sent lots of great food, letters, fun stuff, toe nail polish ( yes, we had some ladies in our group and it's fun to please the girls), games, DVD's, socks, hair gel, etc.

We were never more excited than when we got a HUGS box. keep up the good work. We're not all home yet.

Previous Stories
12

Client Served

Rating: 5

I just want to say THANK YOU to The Hugs Project for making meknow that someone back home loves me and respects the job I've been called upon to do for my county. They couldn't have a higher rating in my book. Is 5 as high as I can go? I want rate them even higher than that. How about a 100 plus? Can I do that? LCpl Justin Manford USMC currently deployed

Client Served

Rating: 5

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

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

This is such a wonderful charity. All one needs to do is ask and they will send a care package. In addition they look for service personnel to send packagers to. When both my daughter and son in law where deployed to Iraq they sent them care packages that were very useful . As my son in law said they really knew what they were doing and what was needed. They make helmet warmers for our service members to put under their helmet that keeps their heads warm. For places that are very hot they send an item- its like a scarf, very lightweight - that gives you a hug that when activated with water cools you down. This is life saving . They have never turned down a requests and wok tirelessly to help out our deployed military women and men. I can not say enough wonderful things about this charity. They deserve to be considered one the top great charities. Even though both my marines Were deployed in 2008, I have sent them request for other military members who are active duty. They always respond.

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

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

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

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

Client Served

Rating: 5

In my humble experience, the HUGS project is nothing short of outstanding! I look forward every month for something form them. God bless all that are involved in this great project. Little things that they send make a big difference! From the bottom of my heart, THANK YOU!

4

Client Served

Rating: 5

The Hugs Project have sent packages to addresses I have provided to them. All the troops have been thrilled to receive "Hugs & Kisses". I also had the honour of working with Karen & Ray at a VFW convention in Orlando several years ago. They worked hard, to raise funds to send packages to our troops on the home front. These hard working dedicated troop supporters inspire many others to work along side of them, and they never forget that have troops needing their help, daily. Thank you volunteer folks of the Hug Project.

8

Client Served

Rating: 5

The HUGs project sent care packages to my men in Afghanistan. They sent cool teck ties (hugs) and helmet liners (kisses) to keep us cool in the 140 degree summers. They also sent blankets and Christmas gifts in the winter. Of course lots of groups are charitable like the HUGS Project, but there was something different about this group. The members wanted to do more than send boxes. They sent correspondance and lots of love. They took a personal interest. They linked my men with other families in a broad network of sharing and fraternity. I guess that might seem ok to some people, but the needs of the modern combat Soldier, Sailor, Marine, and Airman are great so I found it to be Heaven Sent! We needed a means to vent frustrations as we were under massive stress. We needed to feel a sense of belonging as we missed our own families terribly. We needed to feel like what we did was a service the American people desired and appreiciated. The HUGs Project fulfilled these needs for us. In our darkest hours, they were the Cavalry who came to our rescue. I know these folks all deserve ample thanks and they all have my eternal appreciation, but specifically I wanted to thank Lee Coe, Dawn Case, and Debbie Cappel. These three cared for me on a personal level and even connected with my familiy back home. If the HUGs volunteers are all saints, then these three women are most assuredly angels. God bless the HUGS Project and God Bless America. Sincerly MAJ Curtiss Robinson, ARSIC-S Police Mentor Team Chief, Shahjoy district, Zabul province.

5

Client Served

Rating: 5

The Hugs project is an amazing group of people who truly care about our troops. Karen and the gang, never batted an eye when I asked for cold weather gear for my son and his platoon in the mountains of Afghanistan this past winter, now that things are HOT! They graciously sent over 40 cool ties to my son's platoon, making sure there were enough for everyone. They have included my son on their care package list, when I was financially unable to send packages to him. Often as a marine mom we learn of other young men and women who are deployed but who are receiving little or no mail from home. I have passed these names on to the hugs project as well, and they made sure to add them to their lists. My son called and said mom, Marine X got a package today from the Hugs Project and he said it made him so happy that someone thought of him. He couldn’t believe that someone he didn’t even know sent him this wonderful box. What a morale booster. Everyone always shares with each other but it is nice when you get a box addressed to you. I am so grateful for all the support my son and his fellow marines, as well as all the troops they support, receive from this outstanding organization. There just are NO words to completely express my gratitude to them. God Bless, "The Hugs Project" and all of the volunteers who work so hard to support our troops.

5 martin3

Client Served

Rating: 5

Everyone says, "been there, done that" but I really have. Served in both Iraq and then again 2 times in Afghanistan. America's troops are doing a hard job without adequate supplies and it's groups like The HUGS Project that keep us going and motivated. We feel like these people are the true heroes. We're just doing our jobs. They don't have to do what they do but they do it because they care about us and that's better than gold. I've gotten care packages with hugs in them and just want to say thank you to each and every member who's ever packed a box or written a letter to let us know that you haven't forgotten we're still over here. May God continue blessing America and the good people of The HUGS Project.

7

Client Served

Rating: 5

I received several care packages from The Hugs Project when I was deployed to Iraq during the troop Surge in 2007-2008. When we were enduring rocket and mortar attacks almost daily, and I was separated from my family for a year while serving our country, it was very comforting to get a care package from home. Even in these days of email and phone access, there is nothing like a care package when one is deployed. Since my return I have volunteered for The Hugs Project. Karen Stark and the rest of the Hugs folks are true servant leaders. I thank God for them. -Kevin Calvey Captain, Army National Guard