July is International Free Hugs Month! These days, we’re keeping our physical distance from one another, but there are still plenty of ways to let people know you care. We asked the AE fam how they’re reaching out to someone who needs a hug – or how someone has given THEM a virtual hug. Read on to find out how we’re giving and getting hugs from a safe social distance, and share your virtual hug stories with us on Instagram and Twitter with #AExME @americaneagle.

Taylor Knight

Coordinator, Email and Mobile Marketing

“My friend Jade (who also works at AE) knew I was feeling super-stressed and overwhelmed. She also knows that I am VERY big on self-care Sundays, which for me, include a nice dinner, a bubble bath with some relaxing music playing, a face mask, and reading a book afterwards. She sent me a text one Friday and told me she hopes I enjoy my weekend and can find some time to relax, and don’t have to wait for Sunday to do that. She’s also recently sent me some very helpful podcasts related to things going on in my personal life, so she deserves all of the virtual hugs.”

Quinn Wirth

Senior Coordinator, Video Post-Production

“The biggest ‘Virtual Hug’ I received this year was actually a group hug! All of my friends got together and surprised me with a group Zoom call on my birthday. It was very thoughtful and it made made me feel very appreciated. It also inspired me to give a ‘Virtual Hug’ of my own to a friend by ordering them a pizza to their house when they were feeling down! One of the weirder things about being physically apart is that in a lot of ways, it has pushed us emotionally closer. With a lot of negativity in the world right now, one positive takeaway is that technology has afforded us the chance to connect with friends and loved ones who we may not have otherwise taken the opportunity to connect with.”

Becky Hinzman

Associate UI Designer

“One way I’ve been offering virtual hugs to those who might be in need of a smile is by sending along a few curated memes that I know they’d really appreciate!” 

Hailey Cash

Lead, Talent Acquisition Employment Branding

“My next-door neighbor had a baby last week! I know how stressful bringing home a new baby must be (especially in a pandemic), so I wanted to do something to help. It wasn’t much, but I dropped off dinner on her porch along with a box of diapers (you can never have too many!). I let her know if she needed me to do anything, I was there. It felt nice to be able to help her out even though we can only see each other over the fence!”

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