in the words of the almighty wikipedia:
Free Hugs Campaign is a phenomenon which involves individuals who offer hugs to strangers in public settings. It began in June, 2004, and was widely publicized in 2006 by a music video on YouTube. The campaign is an example of a random act of kindness, a selfless act performed by a person for the sole reason of making others feel better. The original organizer has stated in interviews that the purpose is not to get names, phone numbers, or dates.
sigh. this makes me happy. :)
holy cow! i just read the wikipedia article!
apparently the free hugs campaign became a worldwide phenomenon! my favorite part of the article is the part that mentions what happened in Chicago:
On November 25, 2006, two friends in Chicago had a Free Hugs outing, and persuaded the police to join in the hugging.. On December 10, 2006, the same people, Amber Gribben and Nicholas Markos, along with additional friends, had another Free Hugs outing in downtown Chicago. They were found by a Fox News Chicago crew, who featured a report about them. Proceeds from the sale of downloads of the song ("Gimme All You Got" by bee) used in the first video are being donated to UNICEF.