Man on mission to spread hugs across America stops in Richmond

Local News

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — People braving the heat in Richmond Wednesday might have noticed a man hugging people at the Belle Isle Bridge.

That man, Billy Park, said he is traveling across the United States, handing out those hugs, as part of his group “Hug It Out America.”

Park said he’s been hugging strangers for nearly about three years, because he believes the country became divided after the 2016 presidential election. The message on the group’s website said “Shrink the divide, one hug at a time.”

For those who don’t want a hug, Park said conversations are also important to help bridge the divide.

“The bottom line is underneath it all, we’re all human,” Park said. “We’re all human. It doesn’t matter your race, your sex, your gender, your politics, any of that. And we’ve kind of forgotten that as America and the way to reach that humanity very fast is to wrap your arms around somebody and then wrap your mind around it..”

Park said he plans to visit and give hugs in each state. His next stop is expected to be Virginia Beach.

You can track the “50 State Crazy Love Mission” here.

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