September 24th, 2011 / posted by paularath

Photos by Amanda Stevens

Amanda Stevens was in Kaimuki on Wednesday and happened upon this scene. It’s the students of the Ulupono Paul Mitchell Academy celebrating Free Hugs Day.

Free Hugs Day is a nationwide initiative introduced by Paul Mitchell cosmetology schools all across the nation. It was inspired by the Sick Puppies YouTube music video about Juan Mann’s Free Hugs campaign. This is its third year and the students embrace the concept (pun intended).

“Whoever wants a hug, gets a hug,” explained Joannie Rossiter, Ulupono’s director and owner.  The students go out to the streets with their offer of hugs, choosing a different neighborhood each year; this year it was Kaimuki.

Ulupono student with a happy huggee.

“It’s a good act of kindness and goodwill,” Rossiter went on to say. “In the beginning it was like, ‘Uh, no thank you’ or ‘What are you selling?’ But then people loved it. There are people out there who really need a hug. We do it every day in our school” and Free Hugs Day offers them an opportunity to take their message to the streets.

– Paula Rath

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September 25th, 2011 at 5:29 am

Absolutely love this. How wonderful that in this world there is this bright spot of love and aloha. Unconditionally~

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