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Hugs for the holidays!
The holidays can be a very lonely and difficult time for people. This is the 4th year HugTrainUSA is doing something about it! Travelling from coast to coast on the train, we hug anyone who wants a hug and we raise awareness and funds for mental health. We hope that in this way we are a bridge to better lives for people who think life can't get better and that they don't matter.
Our charity partners this year are the Brain & Behavior Research Foundation and To Write Love On Her Arms and they will recieve any extra funds we don't use for costs. We are doing everything we can to find other means of funding so that the maximum can go towards longer term impacts but we strongly believe HUGS are needed during the holiday period as well. If you wish to donate directly to them instead you may do so via the Donate page on our website!
What We Need & What You Get
Every year for the past 3 years, our founder Arié Moyal has covered the costs of these trips himself but a concussion has made it difficult for him to work this year and so he is turning to you for help in keeping this important mission going. There are now less than 1 week from launch!
Here is what we still need to pay for:
Travel from Miami to Montreal (approx in total $200)
Intracity travel from the station to events and accomodations and back in Pittsburgh, Austin, San Antonio, LA, San Jose, SF, Chicago, DC, Orlando, Tampa and Miami. (Approx $100)
Food from Dec 24 to Jan 10 (approx $300)
Printing (approx $100)
Thanks to many in-kind donations, we have been able to eliminate many of our costs (THANK YOU!) - However if we do not reach out goal here in indiegogo we will be charged 9% instead of 4% of what we raise which could mean less of what we raise ends up with out charity partners - Once we have reache our goal, we ask that you donate directly to them via the Donate page on our website.
The generosity of our friends and funders have already helped to cover:
- The train tickets ($439)
- Non-rail Travel: Montreal to New York ($50), New York to Phildelphia ($15,50,Austin to San Antonio ($3,50), San Jose to San Francisco - ride offered by Ane Howard, RushPRNews
- Accomodations in NYC (Lazar Gillig), Philadelphia (The Kalmans), LA (The Taviv-Margoleses, SF (Ane Howard, RushPRNews), DC (hotel accomodations arranged by Kimab Green, White Lion Social) , Tampa (Mitch Neff) and Miami (Mott Kornicki via Michelle Harris)
- Intracity travel: NYC ($20), Philly ($3,10)
- Food: Spent: $46,50 incl 2 meals for the needy Donated: Friday lunch & snacks for the train: Steve Birkett, Friday dinner & Saturday lunch: Rabbi Hecht & Congregation Bnai Jacob, Park Slope, NY, Saturday dinner: Tihela Feit Oatmeal & honey for the train: Guila Moyal
(We are grateful to Nokia who have sponsored our telecoms costs and donated handsets that double as cameras to our cause for the second year in a row!)
In exchange for your help, qualified donors will get as many hugs as you want, a PayItForward bracelet and national exposure for yourself and your business in association with this important cause!
Any funds not used to cover costs (which we are doing our utmost to keep at a minimum) will be split evenly between our charity partners.
Hugs have been shown to be good for your physical and mental health and the holidays are a time where mental health is under a lot of strain and people feel the difference between the "Hollywood" ideal and their real lives the most. This is also a time where their friends and support system may be unavailable and can be a time where many contemplate suicide.
HugTrain aims to be there to fill that gap and send the message that we are all in this together and we DO care that you exist. Helping us cover the cists for this year means we can be present and make that difference at such a crucial time of year. It also helps to raise awareness of the people who travel on the train with us as well as those we meet in the cities we stop in.
Other Ways You Can Help
We realise that not everyone can make a financial contribution but there are other ways you can help!
- Come out to hug, be hugged and take pictures our stops
- Help us find the things we would otherwise have to pay for (food, a couch or bed to sleep on, a ride or even some Amtrak or hotel program points)
- Check out our itinerary and spread the word to let people and the local media know we are coming!
- Invite others to contribute!
We appreciate every second you devote to HugTrain and to making the world a happy and healthy place to live in! Thank you for putting WE first!