Join Hands and Ride the HugTrainUSA

by Martha Giffen

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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