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H.U.G. Help Uplift Goodness
Visit the HUG Stage at Canal Park
(941 Monroe Ave. NW, Grand Rapids, MI)

for ArtPrize 2023 (Sept 14-Oct 1)
Time-Based Exhibit, Vote #57128

HUG Stage QR Code.png

Please, watch the HUG tutorial before hugging, it's very important!

(Scroll down to skip the small talk and order your shirt, today!) 

Hello, my name is Meochia Nochi Thompson and I believe everyone needs a HUG! If you love to hug, too, I know you understand the importance of the human touch. Hugs help us live longer, happier, and healthier lives. They benefit everyone. Science proves it. HUGS cross color, gender and race lines, social-economic lines, injustices, and lifelines. They are much needed and much appreciated. They help us feel better about ourselves and others. I've been going around the world hugging for over a decade and I'd love for you to join in my quest to spread love through hugs.


1. Buy a HUG t-shirt.

2. Watch the tutorial below to give you some tips on hugging the public.

3. Come join us at The HUG Stage and HUG Somebody!

5. Vote 57128- HUG by Meochia Thompson for ArtPrize (See the QR Code above).

6. Write a message of encouragement or forgiveness on a ribbon and tie it to the rope of hope.

7. Get a hug bracelet and give one to a stranger.

8. Share your hug story with me, here.


The greatest commandment is to love; when you open your arms to a stranger, you do just that. I've had a life of dysfunction and sexual abuse. I refuse to let that hinder me from loving others and spreading messages of forgiveness, redemption, and triumph over life's battles. If you are hurting and/or scared to trust, please consider opening your arms in victory and letting love win. You will rise again because you are bigger and better than your past. I call this HUG THERAPY and trust me, it can be helpful, but it all starts with an open heart. May God bless you on your journey!

I  created HUG Stage, "A Safe Space to Embrace" for people to have a positive place to display love to others! It's a 264 sq ft wooden structure that's bright red like a heart and shaped like a hug! The roof is made of a waterproof canvas with names and messages of love from the visitors at the 2019 ArtPrize Exhibit. It has a fantastic poem on the back that I wrote called "Love Looks Like" and it's even written in Braille on the front! Maybe I can bring it to your event so everyone can join in. Proceeds from HUG t-shirt sales will benefit

This is the poem on the back of the HUG stage. It is also written in Braille on the front side of the HUG stage:

This Is What Love Looks Like

By Meochia Nochi Thompson


A repellent of bitterness, the opposition of hate

A friend to forgiveness, everyone makes mistakes

It treats all as equals and doesn’t discriminate

Love looks like the welcoming of a stranger

And the sweetness of long embraces

It Helps Uplift Goodness and puts smiles on faces


Love is little sticky hands on soft cheeks

Filled with warm tears and gentle kisses

It sees beyond beauty and surpasses the best wishes


It pushes past the pain and still believes beyond the hurt

That although we don’t look, sound, feel, believe or think alike

We are all God’s work!

HUG you later!

Meochia Nochi Thompson

The Hugologist

HUGGER  Contact Form
Please note the HUG vote # has changed to #57128 for 2023

Volunteer HUGGER & Entertainer Calendar

Check out our availability and book the date and time that works for you

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