Becoming Unstoppable

Free Mom Hugs


It started with a
mom on a mission


When we met Free Mom Hugs founder Sara Cunningham, she was already an inspiration to many allies of the LGBTQIA+ community. But since becoming a Purple Paladin, Free Mom Hugs has achieved milestones beyond even Sara’s expectations.


In Sara’s own words, learn how Free Mom Hugs is becoming unstoppable in its mission to support the LGBTQIA+ community through visibility, education, conversation, and of course, hugs.



“I’m Sara Cunningham, and I’m becoming unstoppable”


When Grant Thornton announced Free Mom Hugs as a Purple Paladin in 2022, our organization was still growing, and our aspirations were even bigger. And when I think back to where we were at that time, I’m reminded of the confidence, clarity and foundation Grant Thornton provided us to make our goals a reality.




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Free Mom Hugs: Our journey (so far)



“All Purple Paladins are working to make the world a better place. Every emerging organization needs a Grant Thornton in their pocket.”


- Sara Cunningham
  Founder, Free Mom Hugs


As a Purple Paladin, we’re becoming unstoppable


We’re set up to succeed.


Becoming a Purple Paladin gave us the exposure we needed to attract more people to join our cause. In 2022, we had just three staff members, and since then, we’ve added two more to help us manage our growing number of chapter leaders and volunteers. To date, we've engaged more than 25,000 volunteers across the country and hope to create more chapters internationally in the future.


We’re amplifying our message on new channels.


We’re thrilled to produce a brand new podcast called "Pride 365: Keeping Queer Kids Alive" launching in June 2024. The series will feature moms and LGBTQIA+ allies and advocates having open and honest conversations about allyship and keeping queer kids alive. In 2023, Free Mom Hugs was featured in the documentary Mama Bears alongside two other families, sharing our stories throughout this journey of acceptance. To access the documentary, connect with your local Free Mom Hugs chapter.


We’re building more allies for the LGBTQIA+ community.


The funding we received from Grant Thornton gave us a real boost to host our first national conference in 2023. We were amazed when 400 new allies showed up. We plan to host another conference next year with the goal of doubling the number of attendees. On top of our conference, we’ve held more events than ever — more than 1,300 in 2023 compared to 470 in 2022.

FMH team

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It's more than a partnership — it’s a community


I’ve been blown away by Grant Thornton’s commitment to us from day one. But what makes being a Purple Paladin so special is that it’s more than fundraising support — it’s an opportunity to join a community of other inspiring nonprofit organizations.



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Our needs were anticipated from the very beginning

The team went out of their way to support us in ways we didn’t even know we needed. One way was by enhancing our website with an Allyship Hub of resources.

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Our community got bigger

We’re part of a community of nonprofit founders, all working to make the world a better place.

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Our cause has a permanent squad of cheerleaders

It’s encouraging knowing we’ll always have Grant Thornton uplifting and advocating for us as we continue to grow.


Get to know all our
Purple Paladins


Our program helps take early-stage nonprofit organizations from startup to unstoppable.



Connect with Free Mom Hugs on their journey to becoming unstoppable