Are you Gutsy enough to give a stranger a “Free Hug”?

Free Hug Man

I’m spending a mini-vacation with my husband in Ojai, California, and met this “Gutsy” man at the Farmers’ Market on Sunday morning.

He seemed friendly and gentle, so I had to find out:

Why was he offering “Free Hugs?”

After we hugged, I had this burning desire to interview him. I needed to find out the: who, what, where, when and why?

The first thing he said was,  “I have the best job in the whole world.”

Sonia receiving a free hug-001

Sonia getting her “Free Hug” in Ojai, California.

That struck me as odd, and I started thinking, “Is he getting paid to hug?” if so, am I supposed to donate money. I don’t see a hat or a box on the ground for collecting coins, besides it does say, “Free Hugs.”

Something strange happened to me during our hug. I started thinking how one simple hug can connect two strangers. Imagine if we could start a hugging revolution, and transform the world.

There’s something special about a hug; it bonds humanity.

After receiving a warm hug, I asked him more questions.

“I hear so many stories from people I hug,” he said.

“Can you give me one example,” I asked, always looking for a good story.

“This morning a woman collapsed on my shoulder and told me her husband passed away last Wednesday. She said she longed for a human touch.”

I thought about how this man shows up every Sunday from 10am-1pm to comfort lonely people, some who are grieving, others who are longing for a human to show they care. He does have an important “job.”

The man told me there’s a worldwide movement to give, “Free Hugs” and that I can Google it. So I did when I got back to my room at the Blue Iguana Inn.


The Blue Iguana Inn, Ojai, California.

I found this video, and explanation of the “Free Hugs”  worldwide movement.

 The Free Hugs Campaign is a social movement involving individuals who offer hugs to strangers in public places.[1] The hugs are meant to be random acts of kindness – selfless acts performed just to make others feel better.

I think you have to be “Gutsy” to stand on a street and offer “Free Hugs.”

Are you Gutsy enough to give a stranger a “Free Hug”?

Merry Christmas to all of you.

My Christmas gift was a nice surprise from the London Book Festival, where my memoir received an honorable mention under Biography/Autobiography

Comments (2)

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  1. ladyfi says:

    I love this whole idea! There are no doubt so many people needing hugs… When I was giving out clothes to the homeless, I noticed how many of the people gave and wanted hugs.
    ladyfi recently posted..Dawn, reflectedMy Profile

  2. Sonia Marsh says:

    Thanks Ladyfi for bringing this up. I know something changes when we receive a hug from someone who cares.

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