Juan Mann's sole mission is to reach out and hug a stranger to brighten up a life (or two).
Here is a little bit of what he has to say about how he started the Free Hugs campaign when, feeling alone in his own country of Australia, he decided to do something to make himself and others feel better:
So I got some cardboard and a marker and made a sign. I found the busiest pedestrian intersection in the city and held that sign aloft, with the words "Free Hugs" on both sides.
And for 15 minutes, people just stared right through me. The first person who stopped, tapped me on the shoulder and told me how her dog had just died that morning. How that morning had been the one year anniversary of her only daughter dying in a car accident. How what she needed now, when she felt most alone in the world, was a hug. I got down on one knee, we put our arms around each other and when we parted, she was smiling.
Everyone has problems and for sure mine haven't compared. But to see someone who was once frowning, smile even for a moment, is worth it every time.
Hmm... Juan Mann = One Man?
To read more about the Free Hugs campaign and to see the original video, go to the official home page.