Blues artist, friends spread ‘hug someone today’ message around northern Utah

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OGDEN — Three young adults said a message of positivity they’ve been spreading with homemade posters has made an impact on their lives, and they hope it’s reaching others.

In recent months, the simple, positive messages have been popping up in Weber County, especially around Ogden. The simple paper posters that read, ‘Hug Someone Today,’ were the idea of 19-year-old blues artist, Sammy Brue. Brue said he came up with it at around 4 a.m. one morning.

“I was staring at this poster board for the longest time, with some paint, and it was blank for probably like a good 45 minutes,” Brue said. “I put ‘hug someone today,’ because I was trying to imagine someone holding it on the side of a street.”

Brue said that’s initially what he did, holding the sign and waving at cars along Riverdale Road during rush hour.

“People were stopping their cars, and parking in the Sinclair or the car dealership that I was by, to give me a hug,” Brue said. “People were honking at me, and waving and hugging in their cars because they liked it a lot.”

Excited and encouraged by the response, Brue turned to his two close friends, Hayden Allen and Max Shivers. The three started by posting the letter-sized messages wherever they could; light posts, walls, electrical boxes. Brue said he printed them off at a local library but then moved on to making larger posters at print shops.

“And it’s not social media either,” Brue said. “It’s physically there for you to see and for you to almost have like this cosmic connection with, because we all have that one person, that like ‘man, I really wish I could hug that person,’ whether they’re here or somewhere else.”

The posters, however, did catch on with social media. Facebook posts in community pages expressed appreciation for the positive messages. The three also created their own social space for the project on Instagram under LoveCrimesOgden.

Soon, the boys started noticing similar messages of positivity pop up around Weber and Davis counties.

That simple message could change someone’s entire day, and stop a fight, or stop an angry car crash, or stop a divorce, even maybe.

–Hayden Allen

“It’s grown so fast. It’s insane,” Allen said. “That simple message could change someone’s entire day, and stop a fight, or stop an angry car crash, or stop a divorce, even maybe.”

The three friends put up the posters in the very early morning hours, using cans of spray glue to attach them. Driving around in a large, silver van, with ‘Ogden’ printed on the side with large, red letters, they said they sometimes look suspicious.

“People especially seeing three kids with long hair, putting up a poster that sounds like spray paint, they think we’re doing something like illegal,” Shivers said. “And then they come and find us, and it says ‘hug someone today,’ so they like really don’t know what to do.”

Brue and his friends would ultimately like to see the message in larger letters.

Brue, who left for tour around the U.S. and Canada Wednesday, said he’ll continue to spread the love while he’s away from home. He said the recent effort has influenced him for the better.

“It’s only inspired the way I play music now, the way I perform, the way I talk to people now,” Brue said. “I’m going to be posting up because it’s important to me, and it’s going to inspire plenty more songs for me, and plenty more ideas.”

Brue, Allen and Shivers have also started selling hoodies with their loving catchphrase through their Instagram page for around $35. They said the money goes toward making more posters.


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Mike Anderson
Mike Anderson often doubles as his own photographer, shooting and editing most of his stories. He came to KSL in April 2011 after working for several years at various broadcast news outlets.


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