Join Hands and Ride the HugTrainUSA


PinExt Join Hands and Ride the HugTrainUSA

Remember that song from the 70′s?

“People all over the world, join hands.  Join the love train, love train.”

Let’s talk about trains, love, and helping others icon smile Join Hands and Ride the HugTrainUSA

In the aftermath of the worst school massacre in our country, I have found myself looking for good.  In people.  In places.  In things.

You know, this blog is all about helping entrepreneurs. Emphasis on the word helping.

I’ve been giving much thought to the word helping these past few days.

Teachers helping shield students from gunshots by putting themselves in harms way.  First responders helping make secure a place that had become a living nightmare.  Parents helping their surviving children and each other cope with unimaginable trauma.  A President trying to help a nation through the grief process.


In a perfect world, that’s what we’re all here for.  To help others.  Whether it be through our business, our chosen professions, or just simply our attitude towards others.  Helping is what we do.

A bright light . . .

And then I remembered what one young entrepreneur is doing to make a difference.

Believe it or not, it’s about hugs.

Isn’t that what we’re all wishing we could do right now?  Just give a big hug to those who need it most?

That’s what my friend Arie Moyal has been doing for the past four years.  I’ve never actually met him in person. We became friends on Twitter several years ago through a mutual friend.  Again, the power of Twitter.

Here’s the “helping” part . . .

He boards a train every year during the holidays and rides it coast to coast, handing out nothing but hugs.  To make people feel loved.  AND to raise awareness.  About an issue he feels passionate about.

Mental health.

You see, mental health issues can be overlooked, hidden, and just plain not talked about.  Arie is one person who wants to change all that.

He rides HUGTrainUSA spreading holiday cheer and raises awareness about mental health one hug at a time!

Just one person.  Making a difference.  Helping.

He came through my city of Birmingham on the HugTrain a couple of years ago, and although I couldn’t go meet the train, he gave me a quick phone call.

To say he was enthusiastic is an understatement!  He was having the time of his life!

During our brief conversation, I heard of beautiful scenery he had seen and generous hearts he had met.  You see, he also accepts donations in support of what he is doing. All funds go to two designated mental health charities.  And he does it because he wants to help.

He is one inspiring guy!

Isn’t that what it’s all about?

Making a difference. By simply helping.

Thanks for reading.



p.s. You can follow Arie on twitter (@HugTrainUSA) and also learn more about his hugging journey at

 Join Hands and Ride the HugTrainUSA

Martha Giffen

Martha Giffen is a Small Business and Social Media Consultant, Coach, Trainer, and Speaker. The author of 3 best-selling books, including "Be Social Be Rich," she is an Online Marketing authority and teaches Small Biz Owners how to achieve massive profitable success. And, -she dishes it all out with a warm southern flare!

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{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

Robin Strohmaier January 9, 2013 at 9:45 am

Martha, I do remember that song! Although the holidays have passed, wouldn’t it be great if the HugTrainUSA ran every day spreading holiday cheer and raises awareness about mental health one hug at a time? Thank you for brightening my day!
Robin Strohmaier recently posted..Examples of Facebook’s 20% Text Overlay Rule


Arié Moyal April 8, 2013 at 1:35 pm

We’re working on an app to make the possible :)
Arié Moyal recently posted..What you need to know about HugTrainUSA


Arié Moyal April 8, 2013 at 1:37 pm

Hi Robin!
We’re working on an app to make hugs on demand available 24/7 :) Stay tuned :)
Arié Moyal recently posted..What you need to know about HugTrainUSA


Kerry Armour January 2, 2013 at 7:41 pm

thank you SO much for posting this. Made my day to read it.
Kerry Armour recently posted..Ditch the Strong Arm Tactics: Keep the Social in Social Media!


Martha December 26, 2012 at 11:18 pm

Thanks for the link! Hugs and just a simple touch are very powerful to our human well-being.
Martha recently posted..Facebook Groups: Where’s the Etiquette?


Debra Jason December 27, 2012 at 1:59 pm

Such a small gesture can go a long way in make one’s self and others feel sooooo good! Thanks again Martha.
Debra Jason recently posted..What Will Be Your Social Network of Choice In 2013?


Debra Jason December 26, 2012 at 4:41 pm

There’s a great TED Talk by Paul Zak about “What drives our desire to behave morally?”
He reveals how the hormone oxytocin promotes trust and proves that love is good for business.
He said, “[You need] eight hugs a day. You’ll be happier and the world will be a better place.”
Take a peek – the video is at

Never heard about the HugTrainUSA – sounds marvelous.
Thanks Martha.
Debra Jason recently posted..Happy Holidays from The Write Direction


Martha December 24, 2012 at 10:06 pm

Oh how I agree! Mental health issues have been overlooked long enough. And, during the season especially, people can feel so lost and alone. Arie is making a difference. Glad you took the time to read. Thanks!
Martha recently posted..How Simple Gratitude Can Increase Your Online Business


Melanie Kissell @SoloMompreneur December 24, 2012 at 3:50 pm

You know what, Martha? I’ve never been on a train but this one sounds like a train everyone should ride! :)

As a health care professional, I like to believe there is no longer a stigma attached to mental health issues. Our mental health is just as critical as our physical health. Kudos to Arie! We need more people like him in this world.

Thanks for sharing your friend and his mission — awesome!
Melanie Kissell @SoloMompreneur recently posted..Out With The Trash And In With The Treasures


Carly Alyssa Thorne December 24, 2012 at 3:27 pm

Thanks for sharing #HugTrainLOVE


Martha December 24, 2012 at 10:03 pm

My pleasure! As you know, it’s a wonderful cause :)


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