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Woman Hugs a Stranger Every Day for a Year

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Everyone has those moments when you could just use a good hug. One North Carolina woman is doing something about it, and it may be starting a trend. Melinda Schmidt said she was feeling lonely after she relocated and missing the connection to her friends and family back in her small hometown. So Schmidt decided to try and bring some small-town kindness to Raleigh, resolving to hug at least one stranger every day. That's how 365 Days of Hugs was created.

Schmidt tries to focus on people who seem as if they're having a bad day, or who just look like they might need a pick-me-up. She says she's seeing instant results as the stress disappears. "I feel like a millionaire giving away their riches to someone that really needs it." In a video produced by HooplaHa of Schmidt hugging strangers outside a store, one man exclaims, "Sure. I don't know why, but I will give you one, honey."

To document her experiences, Schmidt created the blog myyearofhugs.com. People on Twitter are big fans of Schmidt. One person tweeted, "love this story." Others are being inspired to get in on the hugging action as well, with one person writing, "I should try this too."

Schmidt says that so far the hugging experience has been life-altering for her. She has no plans to stop hugging strangers, because it's "a complete lifestyle change and it feels so good."

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