30 years ago, Valentine’s Day in Warm Springs included the Hug-O-Gram fundraiser. The Hug-O-Gram featured a card created by volunteers that was delivered with a hug. The card was handmade and featured a Native Person with arms out-stretched to give a hug. Lucinda Green recruited volunteers and Carol Allison helped to create the Hug-O-Gram cards.
The Spilyay Tymoo online archive found several articles about the effort. (Spilyay Articles)
- In 1989 the Wellness Committee helped to coordinate the “Val-O-Gram” effort to raise funds for the Community Center Reader Board. The order form described the fundraiser “to promote healthy communication and giving from the heart through “Val-O Grams” and “Hug Certificatees” on Valentine’s Day” for a cost of 50 cents each.
- In 1990, the Valentine’s Hug-O-Gram project raised $238 that was used to buy stuffed animals for the Fire and Safety “Teddy Bears for Kids” project.
- 1991’s fundraiser donated $270 to Youth 4-H Clubs in Warm Springs.
- Hug-O-Grams in 1992 yielded $300 that was donated to the “‘Lil Miss Warm Springs pageant” to purchase gifts for all the participants.
- In 1995 the Recreation Department added balloon and candy heart options to the fundraiser. The cost for a balloon was $1 if you deliver yourself and $2 for Recreation to deliver. The chocolate heart cost was $5 to be delivered. They also added a Madras deliver for an additional $6.
In COVID-19 post pandemic times – its probably best to not have volunteers going around and hugging people, but KWSO wanted to give a shout out to autwai Lucinda Green for her loving work that benefited community programs and put smiles on folks faces.
This year the Recreation Department is sponsoring a Valentine Decorating contest for Warm Springs offices with a theme of “Show the Love NDN Style.” KWSO is all about trying to win the contest and we are including a tribute to “Hug-O-Grams” as part of our display. Office Decorating Contest Flyer
Using a template from the Northwest Regional Lab Indian Reading Series book “Being Indian Is” we’ve created a couple graphics that you can use to make your own “Hug-O-Gram.” The illustrator was Debbie Smith. (Indian Reading Series – Being Indian Is)