While our global efforts are the foundation of Hugs for, our organization recognizes the importance of fostering volunteerism in local communities as well as abroad. We believe that communities are only as important as the youth leaders found within them, and are committed to developing student leaders that recognize needs in their own home towns as well as abroad.
Each Hugs for branch consists of a "Volunteer Board" which often can reach 100 volunteers per site. Read on to learn about a few of the local projects and fundraisers that students have created.
The first Culture Night was held in 2011 for Hugs for Ghana and was a small, intimate gathering of Hugs supporters. Today, the Culture Night has grown immensely and annually unites nearly 400 community members for a night of food, dancing, fundraising, and celebration.
The Culture Night is not only Hugs for's primary fundraiser, but also allows student volunteers the opportunity to practice organizing a large scale community event.
Throughout the night, the audience enjoys performances by traditional Ghanaian dancers, drummers, and singers, all while eating a cultural meal. Student volunteers are also rewarded for their volunteering through an awards ceremony. All donations go towards current projects that students are working on and to off-set shipping costs.
For more photos from our Culture Nights, check out the photo gallery. Sign up for our newsletter if you would like to know when the next Culture Night is being held!
After School Mentoring
Hugs for branches often partner with organizations like the Boys and Girls Club to provide after school mentoring for local elementary schools. These opportunities offer a way for students to become involved in the community and share their passion for service with the next generation of students.
Need your car washed? During the summer you can find Hugs for members in the community holding car washes to raise funds for future global trips abroad.
Retirement Home Concerts
Retirement Home Concerts are a favorite among Hugs for branches. Hugs members develop partnerships between local high school music groups (acapella, orchestra, and band groups ) and local retirement homes. Once a month students perform concerts for the senior citizens. Students have often said one of their favorite parts of Hugs has been performing, and subsequently forming relationships with senior citizens.
Soccer Tournaments are fun, active fundraisers for school sites and offer the opportunity to unite students from all over the community for a common goal.