Can a hug make a difference? The future beauty and barbering professionals from Paul Mitchell Schools believe it can, and they set out to prove it on Tuesday, October 8, when more than 14,000 students from 110 Paul Mitchell Schools headed to plazas, parks, and other popular spots in their local communities to offer “free hugs” and other kind acts to make someone’s day.
In an industry based on making people look their best, Paul Mitchell future professionals want to make people feel fabulous, too. Inspired by the Sick Puppies YouTube music video about Juan Mann’s popular Free Hugs campaign, Paul Mitchell Schools have held Free Hugs Days every October since 2009, fanning out to offer hugs across America — from Times Square to the Golden Gate Bridge, from the St. Louis Arch to the Alamo, and everywhere in between.
This year, they expanded the theme to “Free Hugs / Community Love Day” and incorporated additional kind acts into the day’s agenda. Dressed in their signature black outfits and naturally sporting fabulous styles, future professionals and team members visited senior centers and nursing homes, delivered handmade cards to hospitalized children, and provided free haircuts and lunches for homeless individuals and women and children’s centers, to name just a few of their ideas.
Asked about the annual event, Paul Mitchell Schools Dean and Cofounder Winn Claybaugh says, “Our Paul Mitchell Schools across the country take time once a year to offer Free Hugs and other kind acts to their communities. We also hold annual events to remember September 11 and Veterans Day, we visit care facilities for the elderly, we raise awareness about cancer, and we’ve raised over $21 million for a variety of charitable causes. We absolutely prepare our graduates with the best training to cut and color beautiful hair, pass the state board exam, and launch highly successful careers, as recognized by our 30-plus years of experience—and we care about helping our students live better lives, become better citizens and human beings, and know how to give back to their communities. Now, that’s a great education!”
ABOUT THE ORIGINAL FREE HUGS CAMPAIGN
Feeling depressed and lonely after numerous personal difficulties, Australian Juan Mann was deeply touched by a random hug from a stranger at a party. What began as one person giving hugs in a Sydney mall eventually evolved into a worldwide social movement of individuals offering hugs to strangers in public places. The campaign received international attention in 2006 as the result of a YouTube music video by Australian band Sick Puppies. For more information, visit the official Free Hugs Campaign website at www.freehugscampaign.org.
To locate a Paul Mitchell School near you and learn more about their annual Free Hugs / Community Love Day plans, visit www.paulmitchell.edu.