HUGS is here to help you connect with other parents who know what you are going through, as well as help you find the support and services you need to improve the quality of life for your children and family.
We promote partnership with families, professionals, and the community at large, because it is through partnership that we create a community where our children can thrive.
We also create training groups with parents who have children with similar special needs that provide information. The program works in a very simple way: parents who are trained and gain experience are empowered to support parents who are new to the program.
HUGS began with our founder Ivan Vila, who has been working in the mental health field in Philadelphia, PA for over 18 years. With the challenging pandemic of 2020, he felt that something had to be done to help families in need. With the support of family and close friends, H.U.G.S. (Humanity United 4 Global Support) was created to help the most vulnerable communities during this pandemic.
Post-pandemic, H.U.G.S began new ventures to support the growing immigrant population in the Philadelphia area. With the support of now Vice President Emma Gillam and her daughter Emily Gillam, personal development workshops were implemented virtually and hosted once a month in which guest speakers and experts in different fields from around the globe shared their insight into different important and empowering topics.
Now located in NorthEast Philadelphia, we are bridging the gap between local resources and the range of needs immigrant families have (such as medical, educational, legal,etc) in order for them to successfully transition into this country.
OUR MISSION: We are a nonprofit organization centered around providing for the immigrant community in Philadelphia. Through emotional support, resources, and education for immigrant families, we aim to empower Latinx immigrants to thrive despite hindering circumstances. Not only does HUGS aim to connect families to resources, but we also provide guided support through conferences, trainings, peer-support sessions, and monthly presentations on different topics that help strengthen the family dynamic.
OUR VISION: Our vision is to facilitate smooth immigrant transition into this country. By providing access to resources, we aim to minimize the overwhelming feelings of worry and frustration that come with learning a new environment and culture while also providing families with restored hope and peace.
Empathy: We value the lives we encounter and the experiences of all individuals. We keep in mind that everyone's experiences vary and we put ourselves in others' shoes when developing an approach to care.
Equality: We believe that all humans are created equal in that we all have something of value to bring to the table regardless of physical, cultural or social differences. We honor our peers and make decisions with this in mind.
Respect: We treat all people with dignity and respect. We treat others the way we ourselves would like to be treated.
Stewardship: We honor our heritage by being socially, financially, and environmentally responsible.
HUGS After School Enrichment Program
HUGS Presentation in NorthEast Philadelphia
HUGS Conversational English Program
Our President Ivan Vila and Vice President Emma Gillam Presenting in NorthEast Philadelphia
HUGS Vice President Emma travels to Peru to give back to hometown. (Pictured: Emma teaching conversational English)
HUGS team member Lenora teaches children conversational English to children in Peru
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