"We want to remind people to just stop, take a minute and hug your kids and live in the moment" said event coordinator Faydra Rector. Today was the perfect time to do just that. The fourth annual " Hug Your Kids day" was met with great success. The national event urges parents to take time from busy lives to appreciate the children still with them, as well as those who have passed. "It's not only about hugging the ones that are here, but also about remembering the ones who have gone" Rector explained.
One of those parents is Jennifer Botell who lost her nine year old son last summer after a rock wall collapsed on him at Lassen Volcanic National Park. She says events such as this help with her on going healing process. "This is a great way to honor my son, to help his memory live on and also to show my daughter how much I love her" said Botell.
Participants urged passing cars to "honk for hugs" and "hug your kids". Something Susanne Schoelen wishes she could still do to her ten year old son Braden, who recently lost his battle to Meningitis in January. "Sadly I'm here without on of them because he's passed on. So this is a great way to help honor his memory and also let my kids know how much I love them" Schoelen said.
The event ended with a minute long hug amongst families and the release of 100 balloons to symbolize the children who have been lost, will never be forgotten. "We are given today, we're not promised a tomorrow, so we need to tell our kids everyday that we love them" Botell said.