Start A Chapter

If you are a high school student, you can start a chapter in just 5 easy steps. 
(Please note at this point branches can only be started by high school students)


STEP 1: Decide on what country your branch will stand for

Every Hugs for site must have a country that it specifically is tied to called the "commitment country." This will become the country of focus as you plan donation drives. Your branch is more than welcome to join a commitment that already exists or to create a new commitment. (For a list of the commitments that already exist, check out the Global Projects, tab). You are free to choose any country as long as you can demonstrate a need in the specified nation. We encourage you to conduct research before submitting your proposal to ensure that your team will have the means of being most effective. 

STEP 2: Find an advisor

Identify one or more faculty/staff members to be the club advisor. This faculty member will serve as your connection to your local high school and community. They will be able to connect you to resources in your school and help navigate issues that may have to be delegated to an adult figure. You might consider someone who has a particular interest in service or leadership development, or perhaps someone who you have a personal connection to and can help you rally your peers to your cause!



STEP 3: Recruit your team

Found your advisor? Now it’s time to to recruit your team. In order to be officially chartered, Hugs for branches must consist of an Executive Board. The Executive Board must hold a minimum of six mandatory officers: President, Vice-President, a Secretary (and if needed a co-Secretary), a Treasurer (and if needed a co-Treasurer) and a Director of Advertisement and a Director of Publicity. Your Executive Board will need to also establish a Volunteer Board dedicated to the local projects you will carry out. More details about the positions and roles can be found by downloading the application instructions.

Step 4: Complete A New Branch Application

Complete the New Branch Application. The form can be downloaded here. Be sure to fill out each of the questions and all necessary signatures or your application will not be reviewed. Once complete scan and e-mail your application to




Step 5: Review and Submit!

Once your new branch has been approved, you will receive the Hugs for handbook, letter of congratulations, be added to the Hugs for website, and gain online access to the broader Hugs community. After reviewing the handbook and constitution a member of the Hugs team will reach out to you for next steps! You will be encouraged to start developing the following: Chapter bylaws outlining the obligations of membership, a schedule of events for fundraisers and donation drives schedules, making connections with local community members, and begin recruitment for your Volunteer Board.