Founded in 2009 by Arié Moyal, HugTrain's mission is to offer a different perspective on the world and reduce social isolation by distributing and facilitating the exchange of hugs and peer-to-peer support by using technology to connect with people online and offline. This year, the 7th annual HugTour will crisscross North America from December 13, 2015 to January 7, 2016 raising spirits one hug at a time!

2014-2015 HugTrain capital campaign – Let’s make a movie!

Hi all,

As many of you know I have been running HugTrain for the last five years. I’m just about ready to leave on the sixth trip and I could use your help!

What is HugTrain?

If you don’t know what HugTrain is here’s a little overview:

Since 2009, I have gotten on the train every year in December to travel across North America giving out free hugs to raise awareness and funds for mental health.

This year we will pass through Montreal, Quebec City, Moncton, Halifax, Toronto, Edmonton, Winnipeg, Ottawa, Windsor, Detroit, Chicago, Albuquerque, San Francisco, Portland, Seattle and New York as well as many points in between! An itienrary with dates and times is located here:

Check out this video that was made in Los Angeles in 2012. It explores HugTrain a bit more in-depth:

Why during the holidays?

December and January can be a particularly difficult time for mental health because of family and financial stress, isolation, the dissonance between holiday ads and reality, not to mention shorter days causing drops in vitamin D levels which increases inflammation in the brain which can cause depression and the fact that mental health professionals and many people’s support systems are not available to them during the holidays.

Why am I asking for help?

I haven’t been broadcasting this but in March 2012, I had a brain injury and since then I have had to ask you, my friends, to help make HugTrain happen. This shift has made me a link in the pay it forward chain and it has been an honour and a privilege to be entrusted with this mission and I am so grateful to the many of you who have been so incredibly generous with your time, homes and money! This year I need your help more than ever!

This year, our sixth (I know I can’t believe it either!), we (that’s you and me) will bring the total distance travelled to over twice the circumference of the Earth and *drumroll please* we’re going to be filming a documentary to inspire people to make small changes in their worlds as I have done with HugTrain over the years.

This film will not only increase the reach of HugTrain beyond the actual trip but also generate some income to help HugTrain become self-sustaining so that we can do workshops in middle schools and launch a hug finding app that will help us understand the real state of mental health and work to improve it but that’s a whole other e-mail. 🙂

What do I need from you?

I need your help raising what we need, be it cash or in kind, to cover travel costs (tickets, food, accommodation, etc) for me and the film crew as well as post production costs.

Any contribution helps, even helping to spread the word helps a lot!

Next steps:

1. Donate what you can by clicking the PayPal Donate button here:
2. Spread the word to your friends and family
3. Get in touch with me about other ways you can help or to ask any questions or give feedback

Thank you so much for taking the time to read this!


Tweet: Check out this great #mentalhealth initiative! :)