Formerly the only restaurant owner in the U.S. with Down syndrome, this man gives free hugs to thousands

December 19, 2017 11:21 am Last Updated: December 19, 2017 11:21 am

Never underestimate the power of love. A simple hug from anyone can do your day more good than you would think.

Tim Harris has Down syndrome, but he didn’t let it slow him down when running his Albuquerque, NM-based restaurant, Tim’s Place.

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He was at one point the only restaurant owner in the United States with Down syndrome.

He would wake up at 5:30 am every day to manage the place, and did it all with a smile on his face.

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Harris could have been considered a celebrity at that point; his restaurant was not only known for great food, but for the hugs from Tim that would come along with it.

“I always wanted a restaurant since I was a kid,” Harris told KRQE News. Tim was living his dream for years, and gave hugs to anyone that wanted one.

Harris shared over 75,000 hugs at his restaurant.

He’s on record saying that “the hugs are the best part,” and it’s obvious that all Harris wanted to do was brighten someone’s day.

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His father, Keith, helped Tim set up the restaurant, as Tim had promised to own one ever since he was 14. And since he did end up in charge of a restaurant, he made it his mission to make sure everyone had a memorable experience at his place.

“The hugs are way more important than the food,” Tim said.

He recognized that though food may be delicious, it’s just food. A hug creates a more personal connection with the customer, and Tim shared affection to make them feel good.

Tim’s actions have garnered attention from the media everywhere. He’s done a TED talk, and has been covered by multiple national news outlets due to his unparalleled service.

He even gave a squeeze to former U.S. President, Barack Obama. That’s the kind of status this guy has.

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Recently, he announced the 10,000 hug challenge.

Harris will do his best to give out 10,000 hugs to anyone who either wants one, or earned it through an ABQ app that details any good deeds in the Albuquerque area. And wherever there are good deeds, Harris will be there to reward them with a hug.

“When you hug someone, you love and accept them,” Harris told KRQE.

And that’s all that matters for him; for someone with a condition that may be made fun of by certain people, Harris just wants everyone to love like he does.

Tim is an example of someone that can change peoples’ perceptions on Down syndrome. With one hug at a time, he certainly changed the community of Albuquerque for the better.

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(Via YouTube)