From time to time we hear about human trafficking and child slavery, but because these topics can induce immense discomfort, it’s rare for people to spend much time thinking, let alone doing, something about it. Not so for Zac Whyte. The Canadian founder of the HEAL Project is an innovative philanthropist, activist, entrepreneur, dad, academic and digital creative who appears fearless in the pursuit of influencing change — and making it fun for others to join him. He’s also the creator of the Hug Pile.
It doesn’t take much conversation with him (or Googling) to realize Zac is a modern day warrior whose weapon is his intellect, and his limitless ammo is supplied by his bear-sized heart. His Hug Piles are a prime example.
From the website:
“Gather the people around you and hug them for 30 seconds. This is what a healthy community feels like. Hug Piles are a great way to introduce emotionally difficult concepts like child soldiering, human exploitation, and trafficking. Have a big hug and discuss what actions you will take to create a better community together. A united community is connected and secure. The weakest person is held up and the strongest is relieved of the burden to hold everyone up; most importantly though, everyone is important in a Hug Pile and nobody can be left out.”
The Hug Pile Facebook page includes fun photos and details about the location and participants involved.
Want to find out more? Here’s a video by Zac that explains the HEAL Project in his own words: