HugTrainUSA Raising awareness for Mental Health arrives to your closest Amtrak station
December 30, 2011
San Francisco, Calif. (RPRN) 12/30/11 — Update: hello Chicago! come and meet tomorrow night Wednesday, January 4th, 5:30-8:30pm at Bull & Bear 431 N. Wells, Chicago, IL 60654 (312) 527-5973 http://www.bullbearbar.com/
The evening is sponsored by NOKIA and RushPRnews.com
Update: The HugTrain© will be leaving SF January 1 heading to Portland Oregon for a one-hour layover before boarding The Empire Builder at Amtrak for Chicago, arriving to its destination January 4th. See complete itinirary.
Hello everyone, my name is Arié, and I started HugTrainUSA ©, an initiative to create discussion, raise awareness and funds for mental health through hugs. This year's charity is Mental Health America. This trip is currently on it's 5th day of 14, currently on a train near Colfax, CA & will arrive in Emeryville's Amtrak station at 4:10 PM and remain in San Francisco until New Year's Day.
In memory of…
HugTrainUSA 2011-12 is dedicated to the memory of Trey Pennington (http://treypennington.com) , a loved social media consultant who battled depression and who took his own life on September 4, 2011. To honor his memory, we left from Greenville, SC and will end in Florida where he was laid to rest. The itinerary includes Atlanta, New Orleans, Memphis Chicago, Denver, Salt Lake City, Reno, San Francisco (Emeryville), Portland, Whitefish (MT), Minneapolis, Chicago, Washington, DC & Orlando.
The Power of a Hug
A simple hug has been found to bring down anxiety. It can lift you up; bring a smile to your face and warmth to your heart. It has no gender or agenda; a hug is a way of saying, “I care about you” and “I connect with you.” It’s friendlier than a handshake, and much less private than a kiss. A hug is something we can give and receive freely, no matter our age, gender or race.
So at this time of high stress, we are trying in our own small way to spread cheer in the world by handing out a hug or two – or more.
Why was the HugTrainUSA© initiative started?
As much as social media is a tool to mobilize populations, it often ends up isolating people from real, human interaction. Beyond mental health awareness, HugTrainUSA has the goal of spreading happiness and good feelings, especially during the holiday season.
The holidays are a tough time for many people – seasonal and situational depression is more common during the holiday season. Many continue working, are unable to travel to reconnect with family and friends, have no one to connect with, or have bad familial relationships. Individuals in these types of situations often get the idea that they don’t matter and/or aren’t wanted. The HugTrainUSA initiative is there to let them know they do matter, and that every life is important.
How did you start HugTrainUSA©?
A few years back, I was moving from Montreal to London and decided – as a break between my crazy job and my crazy job search – I would travel around the US by train. At the time there were plans for a Global Hug Tour, but it fell through due to costs. I decided to take the Global Hug Tour on and make it more sustainable and local.
Join the HugTrainUSA 2011 Initiative
This year, join the HugTrainUSA initiative in spreading cheer and love; hug those special people in your life – your family, friends, colleagues, neighbors, even pets – and let them know how much they mean to you. Follow theHugTrainUSA itinerary and keep track of where we are via Twitter: @HugTrainUSA. If you happen to be in those cities at the same time, come and say hi and join us to hug and to be hugged!
Our sponsors include Nokia, eModeration and and RushPRnews.
Thank you and happy new year 2012!
Main image credits: Arie Moyal
About the author:
Arié Moyal is the founder of HugTrain, a social purpose startup and a brand engagement strategist who has consulted with a range of companies on community enagement and social media strategy.
Arié is available for consulting, speaking engagements, coaching and training.
HugTrainUSA, HugTrainCanada, HugTrainUK, HugTrain, or any forms of HugTrain are copyrighted and not to be used without the express written permission from Arie Moyal.
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