Meet Paul

How do we build a kinder world? One kind action at a time, and we believe sharing a hug is one of the best ways to share kindness. We’ve been offering hugs around the world since 2008, and we’d LOVE for you to get the chance to meet huggers around the world.

From Carol: Paul has been joining our World Hugs Weekend since 2012.

Meet Paul from Portland (West Linn)

How long have you been offering free hugs?

I don’t know exactly. Maybe around 10 years.

Where do you do free hugs, and how often?

Mostly at Farmers Markets and downtown Portland. Every Saturday at Oregon City Farmers Market in summer..or almost every Saturday.

Why did you start giving free hugs, and why are hugs important?

Someone shared with me a video by Juan Mann, and it spoke to me. Hoping to be there for people. Each time I hug, there is someone there who I was there for.

What languages do you speak?

English and very little Spanish- Abrazos Gratis

Do you have a favorite(s) hug story you’d like to share?

I had a homeless woman approach me in Pioneer Square downtown Portland. She said, Free Hugs? You don’t have any other expectations for your hugs?” I said, “No, just a hug.” She said, “I haven’t had a hug in years that hasn’t had another expectation associated with it.” I said, “Not this time” She then said she would like one. So we hugged. When we were done, she said, “That was special, thank you.” and she left. I teared up. I can’t imagine the life of a homeless woman on the streets. I was glad I was there for her.

Is there anything else you’d like to add?

Free hugging is free—an opportunity to be kind to our fellow citizens on this earth. A way we can make a peaceful difference. It makes me smile every time and cry sometimes.

Join the hug team and help us spread LOVE, kindness, compassion, and peace around the world one hug at a time.

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