Hey San Francisco! Hug It Forward. HugTrain coming to town this New Year’s Eve!

Join HugTrain, a social purpose startup as it delivers holiday cheer, emotional support and real-world connection during its 6th annual railroad tour across America. Once again, it is breaking down barriers between people from all walks of life but this time hugging it foward with the upcoming launch of its brand new HugTrain app .

“Small changes create big shifts,” Arie Moyal told RushPRnews, as he embarks on the sixth annual U.S. HugTrain tour.

Arie Moyal, the founder and heart and soul of HugTrain has traveled the equivalent of twice around the world, hugged thousands of people and given hope to many more.

One man can can make a difference. And if he inspire others to make small shifts, together they can change the world.

” I saw an opportunity to make a difference through something small and I took it. And that’s the point of the app. And I want to encourage others to break social isolation in their own way.” 

But how did it all start? In 2009, Arie embarked on this journey of self-acceptance and hugged it forward almost by accident. “I was moving to London and had 2 weeks free so I decided to take the train and explore the U.S.,” he told RushPRNews.”Just about that time, a woman I knew cancelled her Global Hug Tour, and since my planned  trip was during the holidays, I decided to add hugs to my trip and see what happened. And here we are on trip #6.”

On the second year, the suicide of a friend gave his HugTours new meaning. Arie became aware how arduous and lonely the holiday season is for so many people. The self-appointed goodwill ambassador for mental health decided to increase awareness. But how? Tapping into his love of traveling via the railroad and, using his limited resources, with the help of close friends and volunteers from around the world, he launched HugTrain. 

“Financial difficulties, family issues, seasonal affective disorder and social isolation means that the holidays are particularly stressful for many of us”, said HugTrain founder, Arié Moyal.

Even though, HugTrain remains a startup with a small team and a big heart, in the past year it has grown by leaps and bounds.

“2014 has been a big year for HugTrain. We have been acquired. An app is in development and we just finished shooting a documentary,” said Arie to RushPRNews. The documentary is scheduled to be released in 2015.

But what is it about hugging? The benefits of hugging run deep. It literally brings people together. Hugging benefits everyone, every day under any circumstances.

The simple act of embracing someone releases oxytocin, also known as “the cuddle hormone”, elevating good feelings. In a 2007 study, oxytocin has also been linked to social bonding and feeling of generosity. Huggings lays the biological foundation and structure for connecting to other people.

Furthermore, the social purpose startup has been acquired by Doctor Yoel Moyal, founder of the Clinique Revolution du Plateau and Arie’s brother. Doctor Moyal embarked on this journey motivated by a deep committment to developing “medtech that heals and to addressing social isolation.”

This holiday season, Hug it forward. Download the HugTrain app. 

Meet up with Arie in San Francisco on December 30 at Richmond train station or at the Golden Gate Bridge on the 31st. 

Arrive San Francisco (Richmond station) 6:53 PM December 30.

12/31 NYE Fireworks & Hugs from the southeast lookout of the Golden Gate Bridge

To schedule interviews in San Francisco, please write ane@anehelpsstartups.com