Feeling Blue? 12-Year-Old Boy Will Hug it Out

A 12-year-old boy is there for you if you need a hug.
Mac Benson says he's given free hugs to pedestrians on two continents.
The eighth grader lives in Dubai, but he's hugging it up this summer in his native Westchester County, N.Y.

On Tuesday, he stood across from the Larchmont post office with a "Free Hugs" sign. He said his record is 300 hugs in two hours, according to The Journal News.

"People ask why I'm doing this," the boy told the paper.  "I say it's just to be nice or to make people happy."

Benson, already a community-minded kid, said his inspiration comes from Juan Mann's popular YouTube video that has even been featured on "The Oprah Winfrey Show," the paper reported. Mann's Free Hugs Campaign has found followers in Russia, China, Portugal and Spain.

Benson said of Mann: "He said he does it because it made people happier," according to the paper. Mann's video has been watched an astonishing 45 million times on the viral video site.

Alice Giunta, who owns a knitting shop, says Mac was so cute that she "couldn't stand it." She just had to take him up on his offer.
Says his mother, Kathleen Benson: "A hug is an international language."

Watch Mann's Free Hugs video below:

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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