History of HUGS... How we Began
14 years ago five friends brought together by their children, started a non-profit woman's organization to bring a Safety Town Program to Shorewood. In 2008, Shorewood H.U.G.S. was created. HUGS would be an acronym for “Helping U Get Started”.
However, before we knew it, the economy started to plummet. We couldn’t approach businesses and ask for monetary support for such a project when their businesses were struggling themselves. So we decided to find other ways to help the community by hosting “feel good” events designed to make people forget about their problems, if only for a short while. Our first event was a neighborhood yard sale. The event brought in around $1000 and we felt like rock stars!
As our membership began to grow, our goals became more clear. In 2009 we found a unique way to help the community by creating the “Hugs & Wishes” Program. Our wishes program is unlike other wishes programs in the area, as we do not send people on vacations or pay bills of any kind. Our program is simpler, yet perhaps more meaningful to those needing immediate assistance or needing their spirits lifted. Our wish is to spread the feeling of hope throughout the community.
In addition to our wishes program, we support many organizations in our community such as Morning Star Mission, Shop with the Cop, American Cancer Society Relay for Life, Muscular Dystrophy, and many more.
Today, Shorewood HUGS has grown to 50 members, fulfilled over 1,000 wishes to date and has given back over $600,000 to help the community. We feel extremely honored that we have been able to help brighten the lives of so many people in our community over the years and we look forward to spreading more HUGS in years to come!