Creating a world where everyone is .

Let's Be Friends

We want you to hang out with us.

Let's Do Something

Exercise, arts, hang-outs—HUG’s community calendars include tons of fun events and activities specifically designed for our friends with special needs.




Let's Connect

Look, we want you to like us. Join the HUG crew on Facebook right now.

    Like HUG on Facebook

    Meet the HUG Entrepreneurs

    HUG is passionate about helping our talented friends with disabilities succeed. Check out how these brave and inspiring pursuits of happiness are breaking barriers for social inclusion. 

    Mark Fleming

    The first personal trainer with autism to own the first gym in America catering to clients with autism opened here in the Tampa Bay area. He just needed an assist getting the word out. That’s where HUG came in.

    Ethan Holt

    During a Friends of HUG photo shoot, we noticed Ethan Holt was a born model. This young man with Down Syndrome admitted that was his dream career. HUG helped pave the way to a contract that made him a viral sensation.

    Maxine Simeone

    Making fab glam jewelry was her passion—why not turn it into a profitable business? HUG rolled up our sleeves to help our friend with Down syndrome build Sparkles by Maxine from the ground up.

    Virtual Reality

    Reality schmeality. HUG’s gone virtual with an Oculus virtual reality gaming system and a library of 60+ games specifically geared towards people with disabilities. Swim with dolphins. Climb Mt. Everest. Or just lose yourselves in a VR experience without moving a muscle.

    Learn More

    HUG’s “How Do You Include?” Campaign

    Everybody loves our HUG Ambassadors. You will, too, in this public education campaign we launched starring our inclusion champions. They’ll walk you through a first-person perspective on the beauty of inclusion and how simple it is to build a better world.

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    What They're Saying About HUG

    HUG is a great organization for people with special needs to find various activities in the community. I am so grateful to find HUG because I just moved to Clearwater, Florida and I needed to make friends my own age. Now, I have lots of friends and I have a full calendar filled with fun activities.

    Neetha ErukullaHUG Ambassador, Volunteer

    As a child and now a young adult, I struggled with social interaction. Even now it is so nice to connect with others that share the same challenges. The website is an amazing opportunity for people of all ages with disabilities to help people with social skills and to connect with one another.

    Rachel BarcellonaMiss Manatee River 2019, Board Member CARD-USF, Ambassador Unicorn Children’s Foundation

    We are so excited to have the Help Us Gather website to share our programs and help in providing information to group homes, Adult Day Training programs, parents, companions and others who work with or love the developmentally disabled.

    Horton TownesDirector, St. Paul Handicapable Ministry

    This website is a necessity because it allows people with disabilities or the parent of a person with a disability to easily find events in their neighborhood that can bring them together. They have a variety of choices for all ages and I truly think that this website is a positive step in uniting the special needs community.

    Katherine MagnoliMiss Wheelchair Florida 2017, Author and Radio Host

    Before I found HUG, my daughter was becoming depressed because she was lonely. I found the HUG website, and now she has too many things to do! She has so many friends. Her health is better now because she’s happy. It’s just wonderful.

    Rose KingMother of Christine King, HUG Ambassador

    I could not be happier for being involved with such a great organization like HUG. This organization fills a great need for the special needs community in bringing it into the 21st century, which allows for awareness and acceptance to be spread faster than before. This is the reason I am proud to of become an Ambassador for HUG!

    Mark FlemingFounder, Puzzle Piece Fitness was created to connect people with special needs and their families to social events and activities in the community. Feeling disconnected or isolated has a significant impact on a person’s quality of life. HUG’s mission is to help create a more inclusive world for people of all abilities.

    Robin LallyFounder, Help Us Gather

    Featured Stories

    Wanna know what we love at HUG? Creating a more inclusive world by showing off our amazing friends and inspiring people to embrace those of us with disabilities. The good vibes behind HUG are catching on—take a look at these top stories.