5-year-old gives free hugs, gets a surprise from his hero

Published: Oct. 25, 2016 at 6:17 PM EDT|Updated: Oct. 25, 2016 at 6:35 PM EDT
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(Photo courtesy family)
(Photo courtesy family)

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - Jayden Hooker is wise beyond his years. A few weeks ago, when Charlotte was in the middle of violent protests in uptown, Jayden decided he wanted to do something to help.

"I took donuts to the police station," Jayden said.

His parents helped him make a sign to take with him. Hanging around his neck was a small sign that said "Free Hugs." Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police officers met him with open arms.


Jayden started getting interested in hugging as a hobby of sorts, after watching videos from the "Free Hugs Project." Ken Nwadike Jr is a man from L.A. who started hugging people as a way to spread some much needed love.

Ken and the Free Hugs Project have millions of followers all over the world, and Jayden is one of them.

"He's kind of my hero," Jayden said.

After Jayden's story made it to the news, Ken saw it and decided he'd hop on a plane and fly to Charlotte to meet his youngest supporter and of course, get a free hug.

On Sunday, Ken surprised Jayden at his church. When Jayden saw his hero standing in front of him, his hands covered his mouth in disbelief. Then, for what seemed like minutes, the two embraced.

Jayden later said, "It was a dream come true to meet Ken."

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