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Pennsylvania man on a mission to spread positivity gives free hugs on Fridays

Posted at 10:32 AM, May 27, 2019

YORK, Pa. -- Some people say all you need is a hug when things get rough.

John Beck is happy to supply you with just that, making it his mission to make people smile, one hug at a time.

Three years ago Beck said his cousin's death put him on an emotional rollercoaster.

"I was trying to think of something positive to get out of my depression, and a friend of mine - we got together and we came down to the square and we just decided to do free hugs," Beck said.

It was then Beck said he realized there was something special about embracing strangers with open arms.

"People were jumping out of their cars, we probably got about 70 hugs, it was insane," Beck said.

He said this simple action, meant to help heal his pain, started to heal others.

"When I first started doing this obviously it was therapy for myself," he said. "Now I am helping people, it's amazing, it feels good."

The stories people share motivate Beck.

"There was this one lady who started telling me a story how she's 93 years old, never was married and never had any kids and had not been hugged in 30 years," Beck said. "That was incredible. That really inspired me to keep doing this."

"There's so much negativity in the world and I want to give positivity back because we need it, especially these days," he said.

If you'd like to join the movement, click here.