A group of Kelowna based friends are asking the community to do Boxing Day a bit differently this year and give, or at least receive, a free hug.
“The free hugs are given without expectation. I have hugged a man who hasn’t had a hug in nine years, since he lost his wife. I have hugged a street person who I see often and then everyone lined up to hug him. I am not sure who cried harder,” said Kelowna’s Free Hug’s Team Leader Angie Clowry, in a press release issued the week before the eighth event.
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“We hug everyone from retirees, athletes, children, dogs, doctors to our communities most vulnerable. All we ask is that you bring your own free hug sign and take it with you when you leave, for next year.”
Clowry went on to say that she wasn’t always thrilled with the hugging plan, but once she’s out doling out affection it changes how she feels for the day. Healthy physical contact does have healing properties and infants require it for healthy development.
“It’s amazing to see people’s reactions to our Free Hugs,” she said. “Some will say they were here the previous year and enjoy their annual Boxing Day walk to meet up with us for the Free Hug and some walk quite fast in the other direction.”
The event started out as a salute to Wayne Cobb, who died in a motorcycle accident while saving his son.
“I am unsure if there is any bigger love than that,” said Clowry. “And we honor his love for his family and friends by continuing the tradition in his memory. The free hugs crew hope you do something to Pay It Forward as Wayne loved to do.”
Kelowna’s free hug’s crew, welcomes you out for the 8th annual free hugs event held at noon at The Sails in Kelowna on Boxing Day.
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