Embrace the World is a community of volunteer Huggers that participate in public Free Hugs events in public places.
The mission of our group is threefold:
1. In giving hugs, we offer people something that they NEED for their own physical and emotional health, that they may not be able to get elsewhere.
We do this free of charge, without discrimination, and coming from a place of unconditional love.
2. We educate people so that they know that all people, of all ages, need some degree of non-sexual positive touch in their lives.
We tell them about the research that shows how touch-deprived our Western culture is, and how that negatively impacts our quality of life.
We encourage them to get 12 hugs a day from friends and family, and to spread the word that touch heals.
We want to change the attitude in our culture that touch between adults is always sexual in nature, and create a norm where any two or more adults of either gender can feel comfortable giving and accepting non-sexual positive touch without judgment from self or others.
We know that this would create a less stressful, anxious, and aggressive society on the whole, and would benefit the world in general.
3. We often pair our hug events with a fundraiser for a charity and/or to honor a specific holiday or cause.
The charities we choose to support are non-religious and non-political. We have supported Children's Hospital, OPH Animal Rescue, and the Wounded Warriors Project.
The fund raising aspect of our mission is more of an incidental than primary focus. Many people in our culture might be encouraged to accept a hug if they feel they have "given something in return." So, it is a roundabout way to encourage more folks to hug. But our hugs are always free.
I sometimes also do back massage for free at the events (I am a Licensed Massage Therapist.) Massage is simply another form of non-sexual positive touch that we can encourage people to seek out for their own health.
We call ourselves Huggin' Fools. Some may think that what we are doing is foolish. Actually, we are open souls who are willing to make ourselves vulnerable to "strangers," to share our love for humanity, and encourage PEACE in the world. We are open to good things happening in our lives, and facilitating that in the lives of others. We spread joy. We do good. We do it because it makes us feel great. Research is showing that the one thing that makes folks happiest and most content is human connection. So, not so foolish, maybe? :-)
Members of this meetup need to be at least 18 years of age, or have a legal guardian attend with them at hug functions until they are 18. Touching and being touched by others, even non-sexually, is still unfortunately a potentially litigious thing in our culture. We hug of our own free will. We do not have to hug anyone who makes us feel in any way uncomfortable. And we always ask permission before touching others. Period.
This group is sponsored by Embrace Positive Touch, LLC, which is a Cuddling and Non-Sexual Positive Touch business that will begin operating out of Virginia in May 2015. The website for EPT is www.embracepositivetouch.com. Feel free to contact me, Donna Pirnat (540.661.8698) anytime 9a-5p EST if you have any further questions. I will be more than happy to discuss them with you. Please leave your name and a detailed, clear message.
Thank you for your interest in our group. Consider yourself hugged, long and warm.
Peace and love to you and yours,