Stu­dents giv­ing out hugs Satur­day in sup­port of Haitian re­lief

Cape Breton Post - - OUR COMMUNITY - BY NANCY KING CAPE BRE­TON POST We just wanted to help out. Ev­ery­body’s done their part and we wanted to take it a step fur­ther with the idea of giv­ing hugs. It was kind of fun and we could have fun do­ing it. Nicole Mor­ri­son, fundraiser or­ga­nizer

SYD­NEY — A group of Cape Bre­ton young peo­ple plan to show some love for earth­quake-rav­aged Haiti by of­fer­ing hugs in ex­change for do­na­tions.

The uni­ver­sity and high school stu­dents plan to make Satur­day “Hug Day,” by fan­ning out in busy ar­eas of down­town Syd­ney. The peo­ple they en­counter will be asked if they’d like to re­ceive a hug in sup­port of Haitian chil­dren. Why hugs? Nicole Mor­ri­son, 21, from New Water­ford, who is help­ing to or­ga­nize the fundraiser, said that An­nett Wolf, a film­maker and writer who has been men­tor­ing a group of Cape Bre­ton Uni­ver­sity stu­dents, sug­gested the idea.

“She came to us out of the blue with this idea, and we all just loved it and took it from there and ran with it,” said Mor­ri­son, who is study­ing po­lit­i­cal sci­ence and busi­ness at CBU. “ The idea was just kind of cute and they de­cided to take it lit­er­ally and take it from there.”

In a news release, Wolf said she has been in­spired by the young peo­ple’s com­pas­sion, cre­ativ­ity and en­thu­si­asm.

And as for why they chose to raise money for Haitian chil­dren when there are count­less other wor­thy causes, Mor­ri­son noted that every­one seems to have been af­fected by cov­er­age of the af­ter­math of the earth­quake.

Specif­i­cally, the funds raised from “Hug Day” will go to Hugs for Haitian Kids, a char­i­ta­ble project started by Syd­ney- based ICON Com­mu­ni­ca­tions.

“ Th­ese stu­dents re­ally wanted to do some­thing of sig­nif­i­cance for Haitian chil­dren and the Hug Day idea is fan­tas­tic,” ICON pres­i­dent Terry Smith said in a news release. “ We’ll en­sure that 100 per cent of the funds go to­ward sup­port­ing Haitian kids who have been im­pacted by the dev­as­tat­ing earth­quake.”

Mor­ri­son noted she met some of the peo­ple in­volved with Hugs for Haitian Kids, and it has a group of peo­ple go­ing to Haiti in April.

“ We just wanted to help out,” she said. “Ev­ery­body’s done their part and we wanted to take it a step fur­ther with the idea of giv­ing hugs. It was kind of fun and we could have fun do­ing it . . . We’re re­ally en­thu­si­as­tic and we’re re­ally ex­cited for this on Satur­day. We hope many peo­ple come out and we hope they know that we’re com­ing and we’re looking for hugs and do­na­tions. Mor­ri­son hopes about 50 young peo­ple will take part. Any­one want­ing to par­tic­i­pate is asked to meet at the Went­worth Park band­shell in Syd­ney at 9:30 a.m. Satur­day. They will then move out to busy lo­ca­tions around down­town Syd­ney from 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.

“ We’ll be in the down­town area, peo­ple want to hit up Allegro, and Bean Bank and Went­worth Perk, the drug store, the liquor store, Tim Horton’s, all the main places that are go­ing to be thriv­ing with busi­ness on Satur­day,” she said.

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