Regina duo, ‘Happy Mother Huggers,’ delivers free hugs for Mother’s Day

Click to play video: 'Regina duo Happy Mother Huggers deliver free hugs for Mother’s Day' Regina duo Happy Mother Huggers deliver free hugs for Mother’s Day
While some moms received flowers for Mother's Day, others received hugs from the Happy Mother Huggers.  – May 13, 2018

While some moms received flowers for Mother’s Day, others received hugs from the Happy Mother Huggers.

“For them to come around and do this reminds us that there is good in the world,” said hug recipient Kirsten Turlock.

The Regina-based duo, Mark Johnston and Eddy Alvaro, are the pair behind the unique idea.

“It’s easy to just give someone a hug and just show someone that … you care for them that way,” Johnston said. “It’s just a simple hug that can mean a lot to someone — so just hug more.”

READ MORE: Photographers provide free Mother’s Day portraits for women in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside

The free hug deliveries started shortly after Johnston did a “free hug” campaign downtown.

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“I was just walking around and seeing if people wanted free hugs,” he explained. “A lot of people reacted well to it and did want free hugs.”

When Alvaro saw what Johnston was doing through Twitter, he messaged him and that’s when the concept was born.

“I saw that he liked hugs and I liked hugs, so I tweeted at him, ‘yo, why can’t hug delivery be a thing?’ Next thing you know, we got some sweaters made up and we went out hugging,” Alvaro said.

Since January, they’ve been taking requests through social media, from all across the city.

“I don’t think either of us thought it would be this successful and this popular,” Johnston said.

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There are a number of reasons people order hugs, from a show of appreciation to someone having a bad day and even sending hugs to a loved one or relative.

“We went to give someone a hug in the south end. Her daughter sent us to give her a hug because [she] was out of town for six weeks and this woman broke down and started crying because it meant so much to her that two complete strangers gave her a hug,” Johnston said.
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With no plans of slowing down, it’s a concept the duo hopes catches on.

“Eddy posted on Facebook and someone asked if we did deliveries to Alberta, I think it was,” Johnston said. “Not quite yet. Maybe one day we’ll expand throughout the country, but as of right now we’re just in Regina.”

“It’s a give and take kind of thing, like you’re hugging and they’re hugging at the same time and everybody is smiling and it’s just joy,” Alvaro said.

Because at the end of the day, sometimes all you need is a hug.



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