The Story Behind The Hugs Project


Karen Stark is the founder and executive director of The Hugs Project, an all-volunteerĀ movement in Oklahoma City that sends thousands of care packages to servicemen and women each year.

Today, on Facebook, she shared the story behind the founding of theĀ group:

“I don’t talk a lot about Vietnam but that was my era….those were my guys. I let them down.”I didn’t protest them. I believed that we needed to be there because why would our government send us in otherwise? But, I was a girl and didn’t have a draft number and I didn’t have a brother. So….I didn’t give it much thought. After all, I had grown up with the world at war (much like today’s y…outh). So, while many of the guys in my graduating class went off to war, I went to college, fell in love, married and had a baby girl.

“It wasn’t until much later that I realized how unfairly they had been treated, spit on and called names. Why didn’t I write them some letters, bake cookies, send some care packages and support?

“Out of that guilt, The Hugs Project was born and continues to this day. If we can help it, NO American serving in harm’s way will ever feel unappreciated. We LOVE OUR TROOPS AND VETERANS of all ages!!!”

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  1. ConcernedPatriot, 31 March, 2014


    Thank you for filling in where a lot of us need to show our support. My military relatives are very thankful for the support they have received.

  2. Karen, 31 March, 2014

    It’s truly our honor to be able to assist those who remain in harm’s way. As the US begins the long trip home, the military isn’t restocking the stores and troops are having trouble securing the most basic things like socks, band aids and toothpaste.

    We mailed 93 boxes last week and more will go out this week. We need funding for postage, powdered drink mix, snack and granola bars, Ramen noodles and packets of powdered creamer.

    Our office is open on W, Th and Sat from 10-4 but will be closed this Sat so that we can work at the Medieval Fair in Norman. Please come see us.

    If any of Mike’s readers have a loved one serving in harm’s way, we would like to send a care package to them. You can submit their name and address via the “Request a Care Package” button on our website.

    Thank you for your patriotism and pride in some of America’s finest young men and women….our US military!!


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