HugTrainUSA is a two week train trip around the US to spread happiness, joy and raise funds and awareness around mental health.
Seasonal and situational depression is more common during the Holiday Season, when many people continue working, are unable to travel to reconnect with family and friends, have no family or friends, have no one to connect with or support them or have bad relations with family.
HugTrainUSA’s purpose is to spread happiness and good feelings during the holiday season and make people feel that they matter. The train ride also provides a forum for creating discussions and awareness about mental health.
The HugTrain concept is the brainchild of Arie Moyal. HugTrainUSA 2011-12, the third annual event, will be stopping in cities across the USA, including: Chicago, Jacksonville, New Orleans, Denver, Portland, Washington DC, Salt Lake City, Birmingham and ten more.
Arie is dedicating HugTrainUSA 2011-12 to the memory of Trey Pennington, a loved social media consultant who battled depression and who took his own life on September 4, 2011.
What YOU Can Do
The specific goals for HugTrainUSA 2011 are twofold:
- Grow the HugTrainUSA community to include as many people as possible- on as many social media channels as possible, who will help promote good mental health and/or will be coming to one of the train stops to receive a hug.
- Help us raise $20,000 which will be donated to Mental Health America, a nonprofit which is dedicated to promoting mental health, preventing mental and substance use conditions and achieving victory over mental illnesses and addictions through advocacy, education, research and service.
We often celebrate and laud social media as a valuable tool that can help create relationships between people and drive positive cultural changes. But we’re also starting to see that life on social media (perhaps more so on Twitter) can be isolating and lonely because of our perceived responsibility as professionals, to maintain a consistent positive message.
As much as social media is a tool to mobilize populations of people, it cannot replace the benefits and daily need we all have for human touch. NOTHING CAN REPLACE A HUG! It’s not enough to reach out to someone with a tweet or by tagging them in a photo; face to face human interaction is still the best way to foster lasting relationships.
Take a look at these two posts- they are the reason why Arie hops on a train and for two weeks goes around giving people hugs. It’s that simple.