September 27, 2016
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New Friend Request: 5 innovators you should follow

From an extreme couponer to a free hugger, these folks are creative problem solvers in their communities

Get ready to like, follow, and friend request these people who are creating local solutions across America. Here are five innovators making a positive impact in their communities and beyond.

#FreeHugs

Who says that a hug can’t change someone’s life, let alone change the world? The Free Hugs Project (@FreeHugsProject) led by Ken Nwadike aims to do just that. Tackling the latest social issues, Nwadike traveled to Charlotte, North Carolina, to try to ease tensions one hug at a time.

#GhostingforGood

The Pasadena Humane Society & SPCA was the recent recipient of an amazing random act of kindness. The shelter that cares for 12,000 animals a year received an anonymous donation of $8,000 in their donation box. A spokesperson for the shelter said, “Whoever you are, thank you so much for your generosity. Your donation will go towards all the animals in our care.” Way to create local solutions, anonymous donor!

#ChangeAgents

Lauren Puryear is one dedicated extreme couponer who has taken her hobby one step further, and has made it her mission to feed 30,000 homeless people before her 30th birthday. Help her reach that goal by following her organization For the Love of Others, LLC.

#WokeBae

Jason Brown (@wisefarmerbrown) walked away from a lucrative NFL contract after just seven years to become a farmer. Brown says that his agent at the time told him what a huge mistake he was making. “I looked right back at him and I said, ‘No I am not’,” he told CBS. Farmer Brown’s harvest is dedicated to helping the less fortunate. He currently grows vegetables that he donates to food pantries.

#TheySay

Seventeen-year-old Katie Stagliano (@KatiesKrops) is the embodiment of our favorite hashtag, #RenewalStartsHere. She began creating local solutions in her own backyard at the age of 9. Young Katie received a cabbage seedling and grew it to 40 pounds. Stagliano then donated the cabbage to a soup kitchen, where it helped to feed more than 275 people. Her organization now maintains 83 vegetable gardens across the U.S. and donates thousands of pounds of fresh produce to organizations that feed those in need.

Hillary Beulah