The emotional tribute evidently touched the hearts of many, as Dittman’s post has since sparked over 304,000 likes, 224,000 shares and 31,000 comments.
In the wake of the story going far and wide online, Dittman told Fox News that he attended the Pride parade with local volunteer group Helping Butler County, which he founded a few years ago with the simple mission of helping those in need in the community, however possible.
“We went down to Pittsburgh to hand out some hugs and create some smiles, but left with a deeper understanding of the abyss of pain left in those who lost the support of their families simply due to who they love,” the Karns City man told Fox News. “Seeing and feeling the joy and pain in people of all ages, and seeing some of them emotionally buckle at the simple idea of a ‘dad hug’ was overwhelming.”
“They would be laughing and smiling and singing, enjoying the festive atmosphere, then see our ‘hugs’ shirts and switches would flip,” he continued. “It was incredibly powerful and humbling to be a part of those moments.”
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