Hi Folks: If you’ve read our posts you know that this is our 9th year of hugging tourists and locals down at Victoria’s inner harbour, and that so far we’ve hugged ambassadors from at least 77 countries. Outside of that, however, we lead pretty quiet lives … so we were both shocked and delighted to receive a phone call a week ago from Adam Sawatsky, who works with CTV News, Vancouver Island. At the end of their news broadcasts they feature short segments of good news and uplifting people, giving their viewers an opportunity to head into their evenings with a positive outlook. These segments are collectively known as the Sawatsky Sign-Off.
We’re still not sure how Adam found us, but last Friday we met with him and Wells Gaetz (the man behind the camera) for about an hour to talk about what brought us to our hugging adventures, what we get out of it and what we hope to share with others. Both Adam and Wells were very patient with us, explaining what they needed and repeating things as necessary. They went out of their way to make it a very pleasant (and fun!) experience for us, and then featured that segment on their evening broadcast. You can watch it online (below) and while you’re on that page, be sure to check out Adam’s other segments as well!!
Many thanks to Adam, Wells and the CTV News Vancouver Island team for helping to share our message of kindness. Remember to hug someone you love today. Or a stranger. Or, preferably, both!!
P.S. We wrote the following in a blog post five years ago. Seems it’s just as relevant today:
A number of people have asked us (in a number of ways) why we do this. The answer is really very simple: we do it to create connections and to celebrate those we meet. Hugging makes us feel good, it makes the other people feel good, and for a moment it makes the world a little better place. One thing we’ve both commented on from time to time is that as we’re walking down the street with our posters rolled up we blend anonymously with the crowd of tourists and locals we pass, but once we unroll our posters and assume our post all of a sudden we step into the spotlight. It feels enervating, makes one feel a little vulnerable to the stares and glances of passers by, but it’s well worth it. Generally we roll our posters up at the end of a session and fade back into the crowd, but a few weeks ago as we were walking home we were stopped by a man who had seen us from across the street and couldn’t get to us at the time. We received most welcome hugs from both him and his son; maybe we’re not so anonymous after all.