Exceptionally Kind Man Announces 10,000 Hug Challenge

Tim Harris joins Mayor Berry’s kindness campaign

Today, Mayor Richard J. Berry and Tim Harris of Big Heart Enterprises, LLC, announced Harris’s 10,000 Hug Challenge. Harris accepted the challenge as part of Mayor Berry’s ABQKindness Campaign as a means of promoting kindness in our community, one hug at a time.

In October 2016, Mayor Berry and his Youth Advisory Council (MYAC), launched the ABQKindness initiative alongside a mobile app that promotes, tracks and celebrates acts of kindness across Albuquerque. The initiative is aimed to spread kindness around Albuquerque and a challenge to log one million acts of kindness modeled after the City of Kindness initiative. The inspiration for the initiative came from a text message sent eight months ago from Anaheim, California’s Mayor Tom Tait, challenging Mayor Berry to reach one million acts of kindness. Mayor Berry immediately accepted this challenge and has collaborated with MYAC and local organizations to roll-out what is now called ABQKindness. The goal of the campaign is to spread awareness of the importance of kindness across Albuquerque.

To date, the people of Albuquerque have tracked through the ABQKindness app over 455,000 acts of kindness.

Harris is the first man with Down syndrome to have owned his own business, Tim’s Place. He placed the restaurant on the map because it is where he gave his customers approximately 75,000 hugs. He has become a local celebrity in his own right. Since then, Harris has focused his time working as an inspirational speaker, motivating others around the globe to follow their dreams including Brazil and Canada. He has garnered attention from famous people including President Barack Obama and Stevie Wonder. The drive behind Harris and Big Heart Enterprises is to inspire his audience to lead meaningful lives through entrepreneurship. Moreover, he helps other individuals with intellectual disabilities establish ventures of their own.

Harris also hosts and conducts hug-a-thons and raises money that goes toward a local non-profit. Harris partners with local restaurants where he gives out hugs. In January, he raised $25,000 for Special Olympics New Mexico.

“I believe we are all more alike than different and hugs are a great way to prove that,” said Harris.

Starting today, and made available in the ABQKindness app, with his arms open wide Harris will begin giving thousands of hugs, an act of kindness that is free and touches people’s hearts. As part of Harris’s 10,000 hug challenge, Harris, along with Mayor Berry and kindness ambassadors in the community, produced a promotional video to celebrate the start of his kindness challenge: https://youtu.be/Y9-WrpwoK2w

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To download the ABQKindness APP, please visit the tutorial video produced by APPCityLife, the company that created the app: https://youtu.be/t4KnU7o0YSA

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