Let’s Hug It Out

You’ve heard of “paying it forward”—and not just because you saw that movie with Haley Joel Osment way back when. But now one non-profit is taking that whole idea one step further… with hugs.

With your hugging help, Hug It Forward is building schools in Guatemala. And how does a warm, cuddly squeeze translate into enough actual building materials to create an entire school? It’s like this: you track how many hugs you’ve given and received on Hug It Forward’s website. For every hug logged, sponsors contribute one dollar toward the cause of building eco-friendly schools.

And you know what’s especially cool (for school!)? The structures are made out of plastic bottles. The local communities gather the bottles and build the “bottle schools” on their own, taking ownership of the projects and teaching kids valuable skills along the way. Watch the video below and see the children get involved!

Hug It Forward’s first project—in Granados, Guatemala—used more than 5,000 plastic bottles to build two classrooms that almost 300 children use every day. Since then, the nonprofit has built nine more schools, with three in progress and even more being planned.

Ten thousand hugs equal one school, so what are you waiting for? Put your arms out! Hug It Forward is something to embrace.

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Chinmayee Jog
Chinmayee Jog6 years ago

Great idea! However, one of these days, if these schools get dismantled or broken down, the plastic will still take thousands of years to biodegrade, so I do wish they were using eco-friendly building materials - but at least it's all for a good cause :)

rene davis
irene davis6 years ago


Sue Matheson
Sue Matheson6 years ago


Nick Scales
Nicholas Scales6 years ago

I only wish I had people near me to hug.

Faith Billingham
Faith Billingham6 years ago

thank you for this article

Bridget M.
Past Member 6 years ago

This story is familiar. What a great testimony to ingenuity and community. Such a great gift for a very impoverished country.

Duane B.
.6 years ago

I think this is a fantastic project! It gets the children and community involved in cleaning up their neighborhood and taking pride in the building of their own school. It's a great idea!

Roxana C.
Roxana Cortijo6 years ago

Great idea!

Betsy M.
Betsy M6 years ago

The hugs are not virtual from my reading, you log real hugs.
Music by Matisyahu if anyone else was wondering.

Shell S.
Past Member 6 years ago

Wonderful idea : )