Students giving out hugs Saturday in support of Haitian relief
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.