What started out as an idea on a whiteboard between a faculty member and her students has developed into an up and coming non-profit organization with one central mission: helping others. Jeanette Maier-Lytle, instructor in accounting, recalls sitting in her office with students Josh Beiriger, Kyle Hoeing, and Ryan Loehrlein in the fall of 2016, discussing the amount of students that suffer from stress and anxiety. After brainstorming ideas, they decided to create a non-profit that helps people with spiritual, mental, and emotional needs. They named it HUG Alliance – which stands for healing, uniting, and giving. “That really fits our theme,” said Maier-Lytle. “Whether it be donating items in a homeless blessing bag or going and giving blood at the donation center, there’s just something about giving something to someone else that helps you heal just a little bit. So our theme is “healing through giving.”
One of the many services HUG Alliance offers at the moment is life coaching for those who need it. They currently have five life coaches that are there to offer support during times of need and are willing to provide resources to their client. While they do have clients, they are more than willing to help those who do not want to become a client, “That’s part of who we are as HUG Alliance,” Maier-Lytle said. “We are there to help whoever we can help. I just hope that we can help a few people along the way. If we can just save a few lives, then it’s definitely worth spending the time to make it happen”
HUG Alliance’s services go beyond USI students and the USI community. Maier-Lytle even expressed that while they do not have any international clients, the organization would be open to offering their services internationally. Places that have benefited from HUG Alliance include Aurora, a local organization which helps the homeless in the community. “Our assistance so far has been collecting some kitchen type items, and making donations in terms of any type of item you might need for a kitchen,” Maier-Lytle said. “At some point, we want to collaborate with them a little more.”
Last spring, they held their first annual Art Auction. HUG Alliance received over eighty pieces of art to auction off, making their first event a successful one. Their second annual Art Auction will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday, November 10 at the Crescent Room at Easter Seals Milestones. If you are interested in donating artwork or attending the event, visit the Hug Alliance website at www.hug-alliance.org/events to fill out a form.
If you are interested in volunteering, donating, or receiving services from HUG Alliance, then visit their website www.hug-alliance.org or contact Maier-Lytle at 812-457-4749 or firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Photo Credit: HUG Alliance