Super 8 has partnered with Human Hug Project (HHP) to help the group travel the country to hug veterans and combat PTSD. The project’s creators—former U.S. Marines Ian Michael, Gino Greganti, and Erin Greganti—aim to raise awareness of PTSD by visiting VA hospitals across the nation and connect with veterans through the simple gesture of a hug. Super 8 worked with the organization’s founders to provide them with complimentary stays on their tour of VA hospitals on the West Coast. The brand also shared HHP’s mission to expand their support of service men and women by publishing an online documentary-style series—Super 8 Stories.
Ian Michael is a veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom, Gino Greganti is a veteran of Operation Enduring Freedom, and Erin Greganti is a Marine Corps wife married to Ian, according to HHP’s GoFundMe campaign established in 2015. “Together we know the anxiety and isolation faced by combat veterans who have returned home from war–because we face it in our own lives,” the three wrote on the page. “The Human Hug Project is using our own experience with isolation, anxiety and depression to help other veterans cope with theirs–all through the healing power of a simple hug.” The organization takes donations for travel, lodging, and food with a goal of visiting all 155 VA hospitals across the U.S. HHP also encourages followers to share hug photos on social media with the hashtags #hugavet or #hugswin.
The partnership is part of Super 8’s efforts to make a difference in the lives of service members and their families. On Veteran’s Day in 2016, the brand launched an initiative to offer reserved parking for veterans at every hotel across the U.S. and Canada. This year, in celebration of Veterans Day, the brand is complementing the reserved parking with an increased discount for service members and their families. The brand will shift its standard, year-round 15 percent discount to 20 percent off bookings made during the month of November.
Photo (left to right): Ian Michael, Erin Greganti, and Gino Greganti