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People Have Raised Nearly $70,000 for Immigrant Families in Camps by Hugging and Posting It on Instagram, Here’s the Story Behind the Viral Trend

[dropcap size=big]A[/dropcap] viral Instagram trend of people posting photos of hugs has raised nearly $70,000 for bonds and the legal aid of immigrant families separated at the US-Mexico border. 

Tanya Saracho (Vida) and Gloria Calderon-Kellett (One Day at a Time) are both showrunners of critically acclaimed TV shows and responsible for the creation of the viral #OneVidaAtaTimeHUGchallenge that raises awareness and money for Immigrant Families Together. The non-profit is essentially a legal defense fund that helps migrants get out of the horrid conditions of the Trump administration's immigrant concentration camps.  

According to its creators, the hug challenge was born out of basic human needs, many of which are not currently afforded to migrants, children especially, detained by the U.S. government at the border. They aren’t even allowed hugs. 

 

View this post on Instagram

 

Currently, Immigrant detainees, including young children, are being deprived of the most basic human needs: Running water, clean clothes, adequate food, healthy sleep, and beds. Experts have called the conditions at these detention centers, where children are separated from their parents, "worse than jail" and compared them to "torture facilities.” These young ones are not allowed to receive hugs or any physical contact from caretakers — or even one another. This has the potential to create severe trauma. We all use hugs as a way to comfort, to encourage, to create warmth, and to heal. Join the #OneVidaAtaTime HUG CHALLENGE to foster empathy and raise funds for @immfamtogether an organization which offers comprehensive support to asylum seekers once they are released: Housing, clothing, and a path to reunite with their loved ones. IT’S EASY: Share a photo of you hugging someone. It could be your kid, your partner, your parent — And if you post a #throwback pic of you as a kid hugging someone, that’s even better! If possible, try to express what this hug means to you and how those currently suffering in detention are being denied a hug just like this one. Tag #OneVidaAtaTimeHugChallenge; DONATE directly to https://bit.ly/2ZlEAjJ ; CHALLENGE a friend to post and donate, and that’s it! Let's hug this out! #HugitOut I challenge: @sallypr81 @angeliquecabral @evalongoria @svcanals

A post shared by Gloria Calderon Kellett (@gloriakellett) on

“These young ones are not allowed to receive hugs or any physical contact from caretakers—or even one another. Experts believe this has the potential to create severe trauma,” say Saracho and Calderon-Kellett in a joint statement. “A hug can be healing. Every day, people use hugs as a way to comfort, to encourage, to create warmth, and to connect. It is a universal way to communicate love.”

The majority of migrants seeking asylum come to the United States borders with little to nothing in their pockets, refugees from violence and political oppression. Still, bonds for their release have recently been set between $15,000 and $30,000, according to Immigrant Families Together. Saracho (Vida) and Calderon-Kellett hope the hug challenge will help provide funds for these efforts.

 

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It’s been a week since we launched the #onevidaatatimehugchallenge and look at what you have helped us achieve. Thank you so much!!! If you can keep challenging friends to donate to @immfamtogether please please please do. :: Currently, Immigrant detainees, including young children, are being deprived of the most basic human needs: Running water, clean clothes, adequate food, healthy sleep, and beds. Experts have called the conditions at these detention centers, where children are separated from their parents, "worse than jail" and compared them to "torture facilities.” These young ones are not allowed to receive hugs or any physical contact from caretakers — or even one another. This has the potential to create severe trauma. We all use hugs as a way to comfort, to encourage, to create warmth, and to heal. Join the #OneVidaAtaTimeHUGCHALLENGE to foster empathy and raise funds for @immfamtogether an organization which offers comprehensive support to asylum seekers once they are released: Housing, clothing, and a path to reunite with their loved ones. IT’S EASY: Share a photo of you hugging someone. It could be your kid, your partner, your parent — And if you post a #throwback pic of you as a kid hugging someone, that’s even better! If possible, try to express what this hug means to you and how those currently suffering in detention are being denied a hug just like this one. Tag #OneVidaAtaTimeHugChallenge; DONATE directly to https://bit.ly/2ZlEAjJ ; CHALLENGE a friend to post and donate, and that’s it! Let's hug this out! #HugitOut

A post shared by Tanya Saracho (@tanyasaracho) on

It’s been working so far with nearly 800 posts using the hug hashtag including by celebrities like Eva Longoria, Patty Rodriguez, Jaime Camil, Melissa Fumero, Stephanie Beatriz, Curly Velasquez, and Todd Grinnell.  

The steps for the challenge work as follows.

1) DONATE directly to the Immigrant Families Together GoFundMe.

2) POST A PIC on social media of you hugging someone or of you being hugged. It can be a #throwback pic of yourself hugging someone as a kid, or of you right now, involved in a hug. (The image doesn’t even have to be of you, it could just symbolize an embrace.)

3) PASTE a caption explaining the post and tag a friend challenging them to take the challenge.

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