So, this post title deserves a bit more explanation. When we say "hug it forward," we're not asking you to go forth and hug those around you in hopes that they will do the same (although we think that’s an awesome idea). We're talking about Hug It Forward, a grass-roots organization that aims to help communities in developing countries build sustainable education infrastructure.
We recently had the pleasure of working with Hug It Forward to develop their brand guidelines. All of our clients bring something awesome to the table, but Hug It Forward has an especially unique mission and approach. Rather than talking about it ourselves, we're going to let Hug It Forward take it away. Check out our interview with these cool peeps below. You'll see what we mean when we say this organization has an original mission— and why the origins of their name make so much sense.
Hi there! Tell us about Hug it Forward and your mission!
Hug It Forward is a grass-roots organization that facilitates education and awareness by empowering communities to build “bottle schools”. Bottle schools are schools built using “eco-bricks”: plastic bottles stuffed with inorganic trash. Entire communities come together to build a more sustainable educational infrastructure for their future.
Hug It Forward also strives to raise awareness in developed countries about trash, consumption and the power of community. This mission is equally as important to us as facilitating the construction of bottle schools in developing countries. To date, Hug It Forward has completed 48 bottle schools in Central America.
Can we get a quick update us on some of the awesome stuff you have in progress?
Very shortly, Hug It Forward will be inaugurating their fiftieth bottle school in Guatemala!! This accomplishment has been made possible through the hard work of the communities, many generous donations and great conscious business partners, as well as the countless hours of work done by the volunteers who travel to Guatemala to assist on the projects. We have welcomed over 1000 travelers from all over the world to Guatemala to take part in a voluntourism trip where they have equal parts of immersion into the community and culture and work on the bottle school projects.
We had a great time working with you guys! Can you share a little bit about what we did together with our readers?
Verynice assembled and walked hand in hand with Hug It Forward to create new Branding Guidelines so that moving forward we can showcase a unified feel across all of our communication and mediums. Upon reflection of Hug It Forward's journey thus far, we really led with the ground work of empowering communicates to build their own bottle schools, and our branding communications took a back seat. This was something that verynice really took into consideration and incorporated in the process of establishing branding guidelines. It gave us a chance to reflect on the work that had been done and spring a creative, simple feel of communicating the powerful and inspiring work that these rural communities are facilitating.
How has working with verynice freed up other resources to pursue your mission?
We are very appreciative to verynice for their hard work on our project. Day after day we see the foundational value of having a branding guideline, "you don't know until you know." Each hour that a volunteer or business is assisting Hug It Forward allows us to dedicate another hour directly towards empowering the children and communities in Guatemala. Having this extra time is invaluable to the Hug It Forward team and allows us to build more bottle schools in Central America.
So, what do you see for Hug it Forward the next five years?
We commit to continuing to assist in the facilitation process of creating awareness around inorganic trash and the ability to create, with community collaboration, a more sustainable educational infrastructure for rural communities of Central America. Hug It Forward is a community effort in and of itself, with every piece from donor partnerships, board of advisors, collaborations ex: Verynice and volunteers. We trust that the continued path for Hug It Forward will be in the hands of the community that supports and pushes it forward.