About Us

The Hugs Project, started May, 2004 in Oklahoma by Ray and Karen Stark, is a non profit 501 C 3 organization. We were the first ones to send cool ties (affectionately nicknamed “hugs” since they go around the neck) to the Middle East. We recognized the need to help keep American Troops and our allies cool during the summer and warm during the winter. Our dedicated group also sends care packages and other handmade items to our Service Men and Women. This is our way of saying, “Thank you, we respect you and appreciate everything you do for our Country. Thanks for protecting our freedoms”.

The Hugs Project has members in every state and 58 foreign countries. The OKC group meets three times a week in the Oklahoma City area (W, Th and Sat from 10-4), but we are constantly growing and now have “group hugs” in many other cities. We have active groups in Atlanta, GA; Sacramento, CA; Boring, OR; Austin, TX; Kansas City, MO; Elkhart, IN; Longmont, CO; Paducah, KY; and more cities have groups forming right now. Welcome to our newest group in Idaho!!

We consider it an honor to be able to help some of America’s finest men and women serving in our Military. Our hope is that every American citizen in the Middle East can receive a “hug from home”. They are really easy to make and our troops over in the sandbox love them, along with all the goodies we send them.

Our group has sent out over 1.9 MILLION “hugs”, 300,000 “kisses” (helmet coolers), and more than 900 TONS of care package items. We are committed to improving quality of life for our dedicated U.S. Military Troops.

For a more details history of our organization, read The Hugs Project History.