Join In A Hug-A-Thon This Weekend To Honor A Lost Friend & Make The World Brighter

When Nico Lang’s best friend Shawn passed away last April of a heart attack at just 37, everyone who loved her was shocked. Her death came without warning, just a few weeks before Shawn was set to get married. When Lang saw how deeply Shawn’s fiancee was suffering without her, a plan was put together to make something positive out of the first anniversary of her death. This Saturday, strangers, friends and loved ones alike will gather in New York City, Chicago, and Los Angeles for a Hug-A-Thon in Shawn’s honor:

“Last year, my best friend, Shawn, died of a heart attack suddenly. She had an enlarged heart, sadly fitting for someone as giving and caring as she was. She was only 37.  She died less than a month before her wedding, and her fiancee was devastated. The last year has been hard for him to readjust to life without her, and as April 26 marks a year since her passing, I wanted to do something not only to commemorate her life but remind him of the wonderful person she was. That’s why on May 2 I’m organizing an all-day Hug-A-Thon in three cities: New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago. We’re going to film it and send it to him as a video, so that any time he’s feeling sad or depressed, he can watch it and see love.”

Want to spend your Saturday making the world a better place? Head to the designated location for your city posted on the event page and bring a sign with you that says “Free Hugs.” Get ready to hug some strangers and add some positivity to your city!

I’ll never forget years ago when I was crying on some sidewalk in Manhattan and an elderly man walking his dog stopped to talk me about how no matter what I was upset about, things would work themselves out eventually. I’ll also never forget the time a stranger in an airport gave me his handkerchief to dry my tears and told me to pass it along the next time I see someone who needs it; or the time an acquaintance I barely knew offered me a hug out of the blue, not knowing that a loved one had passed away just a few days before. That tiny comfort and connection to another human was what I needed more than any grand gesture, and it made all the difference that day.

I mention these things not to blather on about myself, but to point out that a small interaction with a stranger can change that person’s day, or maybe even their life. On top of bringing some much-needed joy to Shawn’s fiancee, this can make a difference for hundreds of others. It’s impossible to know how much someone may need that small connection, and that’s what makes this Hug-A-Thon so beautiful. It allows Shawn’s kindness to live on, and that’s just about the most amazing thing a person can leave behind in this life, isn’t it? Learn more about the event and RSVP here!

[Image via Shutterstock]