I have been following many organizations on Facebook and Twitter for the past few years and Loving Hugs is one that always warms my heart when I see photos from the work they do.
Wendy Clark, the founder and executive director, was inspired to start the organization in 2007 after receiving a letter from Major Page Karsteter, a U.S. soldier serving in Iraq. The letter describes a bombing event in Northern Iraq that killed and injured many people including children. She went right to work contacting individuals, schools, churches, and organizations to collect stuffed animals that were appropriate to give to children that were emotionally suffering from crises around the world. The animals would provide the children comfort and something to hug when their parents or no one else was there to hug them.
Loving Hugs has partnered with the U.S. Navy and other non-profit organizations to distribute “hugs” (stuffed animals) to children in crisis situations all over the world. Their website lists 38 countries in which they have made donations to.
Here’s a beautiful slide show of pictures from their efforts. After viewing it you may want to make a monetary or stuffed animal donation to Loving Hugs.