The Big Hug in St. Petersburg on Global Big Hug Day

The Big Hug in St. Petersburg on Global Big Hug Day

With all the recent natural disasters and bad things making news, a group of kids from Tampa Bay want to give the world a big hug. After all, hugs make you feel better! The group of 1st – 6th graders are going after the world record for the largest group hug tomorrow, National Hugging Day. They need 12,000 people to do it. Their hope is that the big hug will be a massive symbol of compassion, kindness and unity for all. It’s simple and everyone can do it.

What is the Big Hug anyway?

The kindness campaign, called The Big Hug, was designed to spread the golden rule: treat others the way you want to be treated. “These kids see the bad things that happen in the world and they try to problem solve it the best they can,” said Kari Wagner, who runs the boys and girls volunteer groups organizing The Big Hug.

“They remind us adults that we should have compassion for one another, and if we treated each other the way we’d like to be treated, we can solve a lot of problems,” Kari continued.  

When is it?

Sponsored by Huggies, The Big Hug record attempt will take place at 1pm ET on Sunday January 21st, at Tropicana Field in downtown St. Petersburg, FL. “Huggies believes deeply in the power of hugs and we are excited to support The Big Hug and its global Big Hug Day,” said Eleonora Daireaux, General Manager of Huggies. “Through its mission, children learn how to harness this power and spread good through their hugs. Their hugs inspire ours, and we hope these children and Big Hug Day also inspire your hugs.”

That spirit is growing across the globe. The Big Hug is hosting hugs in six schools across Israel combining Jewish, Muslim and Christian students.  South Africa, Egypt, Brazil, Germany, Spain, Latvia, UK, and many other countries are participating.  Here in the states hugs are forming in the capital of California, Times Square in New York; Nashville, TN; San Antonio, TX; Goshen, KY; Atlanta, GA; University of Minnesota; WA, MT, AZ, and the list goes on.

Who will be there?

High schools, middle schools, and elementary schools are joining in, as well as colleges and universities too. Even professional athletes, celebrities, and everyday heroes are joining The Big Hug! Including six-time World Wrestling Champion, Chris Jericho who will MC the big event.

Even if you can’t attend the event in person, you can still support these young activist’s efforts by visiting to make a donation or buy a t-shirt. Monies raised goes to St. Joseph’s Children’s Hospital, Tampa’s first acute care facility dedicated solely to children. It was designed to ensure the highest quality pediatric care for children with even the most complex or chronic conditions.

The goal is to buy 3-D printers to help cut down on the amount of time kids are in surgery. The kids are already more than halfway to their goal.  

This isn’t the first kindness campaign this group has spearheaded. This past hurricane season, they traveled to Naples to help flood victims by passing out food. They’ve also taken relief trips to Louisiana and South Carolina.

One seven-year-old participant says, “We believe in the power of kindness and that people will want to come out and show the world all the good still out there. Bad only wins if good does nothing.”


Kids helping kids, Kids spreading kindness, Kids motivating us to make the world a better place.