Susan Agustin, an Army wife and mom, discovered Huggee Miss You dolls when relatives sent one to her 3-year-old daughter Maddie with photos of her cousins to keep in front of her. When Captain Gene Agustin deployed to Qatar, his photo replaced the cousins and a much needed form of comfort became part of Maddie's every day life. Read more about Maddie's doll below.
In 2003, Susan Agustin began distributing dolls through a home-based business, with the encouragement of other parents and preschool teachers. A portion of the profits went to Fisher House, and dolls were often donated to units that had suffered casualties. After a few months Susan realized that the importance of getting these dolls into the hands of children was far more important than any business. Susan turned her energies into creating the non-profit program and working on fundraising so that ALL military children who needed them could have dolls.
Operation Give a Hug was founded in 2004. Since its inception, Operation Give a Hug has given out more than 475,000 dolls to children who have parents serving our nation -- Army, Air Force, Navy, Marine Corps, Coast Guard -- through family readiness groups, family liaison officers, family programs coordinators, casualty assistance officers, and TAPS (Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors). The dolls are also being used by pediatric psychologists and school counselors to help children cope with deployment.
Operation Give a Hug is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization.