Help Us Gather’s mission is to advocate for inclusion and connect people with disabilities to social events and activities. The HUG team accomplishes this goal by providing a calendar of local events for individuals with special needs, organizing HUG Ambassadors and volunteers, hosting social gatherings and attending community events. Help Us Gather is a part of The Helping Project, a 501(c)3 charity organization.
How It Started
“I came up with the idea to create HUG after moving my older brother Rick to Clearwater in 2015. Finding him medical and job assistance services was straightforward, but helping him build his social circle was difficult! It took persistence and nearly a year of searching to get him connected in the community. I kept thinking there should be a website to organize all of the wonderful things our community has to offer. So in 2017, I started Help Us Gather, or HUG for short. My hope is this tool will make it easier for others to connect to the community, enjoy fun events and activities, and find new friendships, just as my brother did.”
-Robin Lally, Founder, Help Us Gather
Why Inclusion Matters
1 in 4 households in America are affected by disability.
76% of people with disabilities feel alone and isolated.
People who are lonely get sick easier and have shorter lifespans.
Only 4% of businesses are inclusive of those with disabilities.
Adults with a strong social support network have fewer health problems and are happier.
Meet the man
How You Can Help
Meet the HUG Team
Things that make me smile: Playful dogs, the beautiful Florida sunsets, parties with disco balls, Christmas, coffee in the morning, my family, fun events and activities to go to!
Favorite Movies: Somewhere in Time, Forest Gump, Cinderella
Why I like working at HUG: I get to meet new people and go to fun events and activities in town and I have great team members who teach me new things all of the time!
Things that make me smile: Filming Winter the Dolphin dancing at the aquarium, surprising Bill at CMA with requests to film, watching Dolphin Tale 1, 2 & 3 over and over again with my children Jane & Oliver, and carrying around my Winter keychain on my camera bag!
Favorite movies: Dolphin Tale 1, 2 & 3
Why I like working at HUG: I get to do fun stuff like shoot videos of our HUG friends at Clearwater Marine Aquarium and spend time with celebrities like Winter & Hope!
Things that make me smile: Friendly people, cute pets, quality time with family & friends, traveling, cooking and relaxing on the beach!
Favorite Movies: Ratatouille, Balto, Elf
Why I like working at HUG: I love having the opportunity to make people smile every day. Working toward our mission of inclusion gives me a sense of accomplishment and fulfillment. Plus, our friends are so loving and fun — being around them makes me happy!
Head of Barketing
Things that make me smile: Naps on my favorite couch, unicorn-themed dog beds, fancy sunglasses, Thanksgiving turkey and treats!
Favorite movies: Beverly Hills Chihuahua, Shiloh, The Secret Life of Pets 1 & 2
Why I like working at HUG: I nap all day, get lots of scratches behind the ears from my coworkers and I get paid in treats. It’s the life!