What a week it’s been!
To top off what has been a hard year for many, we are now seeing an outpouring of grief, fear and anger over the election results. I think this is the year HugTrain is needed more than ever and I want to thank those of you who have already contributed towards making this year’s trip happen. I have purchased the Canadian rail pass and booked the tickets. I leave a week from today: Tuesday, November 22nd!
But we’re not there yet. I still need your help to secure accommodations, meals, the US rail pass and the rest of the things I need to make HugTrain happen.
I say *I* but, in my mind, I include all of you who have given time and money and energy in the past. This trip is about me taking your goodwill and sharing it with people you may never meet but who really do need it! And you get to skip sleeping upright 12 out of 31 nights 😉
One of those people is Alex.
I met him on the first train of the trip last year. Alex is a bearded guy with a stocky build and arms covered in tattoos. When I got on the train and settled in my seat, I saw him give me the once over, as people do with fellow passengers. Based on the look he was giving me, I didn’t think I would get a warm reception. Boy was I wrong! When I came by with my sign a few hours later, Alex got up out of his seat (I admit I wasn’t sure why at first) and asked for a hug!
The next morning, I saw Alex again in the lounge. He had just been talking to a staff member and so when he said “I was just talking about you!” my first thought was “Uh oh!” but the next words out of his mouth were “You saved my Christmas!” and I knew right then that HugTrain’s mission had been accomplished for the year and one the very first train no less!
But that’s not the whole story: Before that hug, Alex had just decided to give up on his own holiday project of baking 1200 dozen cookies and giving them away for free, because he thought that people didn’t care.
According to Alex, my hug totally changed his mind and he resolved to give it another shot because he realized that people did care after all! A few hours later, Alex, who now was sitting across the aisle from me, turned to me and said “I think your hugs are miraculous!” and asked for another one. His estranged daughter had just asked if she could come home for Christmas!
I can’t help but wonder what good we can do this year if we can just make this trip happen. Please give what you can and spread the word. The world needs us!
This year’s itinerary will take HugTrain to Winnipeg, Toronto, Hull/Ottawa, Quebec City, Halifax in Canada and then, after a short break, will visit Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Chicago, Denver, San Francisco, Portland, Seattle Minneapolis, Detroit and points in between so let me know if you’re along the route so we can meet up!
Aside from money, there are other ways to help: Help me find places to stay, meals, sponsors, media bookings and help with other logistics and help get the word out.
Let’s make this the best year ever! There is no question that hugs will be greatly needed this year. Share this blog post and the campaign to your friends and family so they can get involved and hug it forward with us!
Hugs to you!