The University of Saskatchewan Freethought Alliance recently raised over $1,000 for Doctors Without Borders by selling hugs:
I would’ve gotten the one with the awkward silence bonus.
Brandon Gerbig, a member of the group, explains the inception of the idea at The Course of Reason blog:
The idea started out as a campaign to put a “friendly face” on the atheists in our university group by handing out free hugs. We would go out, set up a booth, and hug whoever would dare to hug us heathens. Then a member of our group had a revelation, “Hug an atheist for charity”. Why not give out the hugs, and raise money for charity at the same time?…
The reception to the event was overall very positive, with several outspoken religious people coming forward to hug and donate to the heathen atheist cause. There were, of course, a few dirty looks and hushed comments, but I doubt you could hold any kind of event without a few of those.
Brilliant idea and one worth replicating.
Because we can’t let Canada have all the good ideas.