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Canadian woman offers free hugs

Feb. 9, 2009 at 1:42 PM

TORONTO, Feb. 9 (UPI) -- A 26-year-old Canadian woman says she offering free hugs for the third year in a row on the streets of Toronto.

"Some people will walk by smiling and other people will come running because they love the hugs," said Tanya Neumeyer, who took to the streets Sunday with her older brother Ian in tow.

The Neumeyers and a few friends carried large signs saying "Free Hugs," which startled some passersby and comforted others, The Toronto Star reported Monday.

"It makes your day. More people should be hugging," said Louise Collins, 54.

Tanya Neumeyer said she was inspired by the group We Are What We Do and the group's book "Change the World for Ten Bucks: 50 Actions to Change the World."

As for offering hugs in February, Neumeyer said it may be the shortest month but it seems like "the longest part of winter" so more people need hugging.

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