Locals offering ‘Free Hugs’, hoping to spread happiness

GRANTS PASS, Ore. — A trio of locals are working to make others feel happier by giving out free hugs.

Breanna Ferrel is a full-time mom.

Most days she’s wrangling up kids, but this week, she’s wrapping her arms around strangers.

Ferrel says she was inspired after witnessing a similar movement in Portland.

“So I decided to bring it here locally and it’s been a success. The first day I did it, I got like 45 hugs in one hour,” said Ferrel.

Ferrel started giving out hugs on Saturday at the Josephine County Courthouse.

Before long, perfect strangers were embracing her idea.

“These two came by and they saw it, gave them hugs, and they wanted to be part of the movement, as well,” added Ferrel.

Now, all three are offering up hugs in front of the Grants Pass Post Office.

Douglas Cleveland understands the power of a hug.

“When I was in my active drug addiction, I didn’t get a lot of love or feel wanted by my community or my family. So I think that’s a good feeling to give people,” said Cleveland.

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NBC5 News reporter Mariah Mills is a Medford native. She graduated from the University of Oregon with a Bachelor's Degree in journalism. She also minored in sociology. In school, she covered Oregon athletics for the student-run television station, Duck TV. When she's not reporting, she’s reading, hiking and rooting for her favorite teams, the Seattle Seahawks and the Oregon Ducks.
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