When he Couldn't Run a Marathon, he Gave Out Free Hugs
Ken Nwadike wanted to run the Boston Marathon the year after the 2013 Boston bombing. He missed qualifying in the marathon by just 23 seconds. Instead of getting down on himself and going home, Nwadike decided to attend the marathon in a different way: he made a "free hugs" sign and gave hugs as encouragement to runners as they passed him by.
A video of his kind gesture went viral. Nwadike began hugging runners at other marathons, and he eventually took his Free Hugs Project to political rallies, police protests, and other high-profile events. He also publishes other videos about helping the homeless and inspiring young people, while also tackling more serious issues like gun violence and sexual assault.
Nwadike says on his Facebook page that his mission is to continue Martin Luther King Jr.'s movement of bringing awareness to social issues, all while spreading love.