November has become the month when things get hairy.
Maybe you’ve heard it referred to as Movember or No-Shave November. But what do these things mean?
Less shaving for starters.
Chin fuzz and beards begin shading baby faces but it’s rooted in a good cause: creating awareness and drumming up donations for mens health issues, particularly mental health, prostate, colon and testicular cancers.
It’s got lots of guys and more than a few women going razor free, diving in face -or what have you- first for a good cause.
Is all this charity making a difference in peoples lives or just keeping up appearances? Let’s have a look before you decide whether or not to let it grow.
Splitting Hairs on Charities
Movember began in Australia in 2003 when, after a few pints, two friends joked about bringing the mustache back in style. A friends mother had recently been undergoing cancer treatments so they decided to use this ‘stache talk for more than a laugh.
Deciding that mens health in general and prostate cancer specifically were serious business and just as seriously overlooked, they reached out to their friends asking: “Are you man enough to be my man” and charging $10 to join in.
Thirteen years later, more than five million people have gotten involved as a Mo bro or Mo sista making Movember a charity with global reach whose goals are to “Change the face of mens health” and “Stop men from dying too young”. Their focus has grown too to various forms of cancer and mental illness.
The idea of growing the mustache remains as a conversation starter. Anytime someone asks why the new growth, provides an opportunity to explain and spread the word. The three legs of their strategy are Grow, Move and Donate. So if a mustache isn’t for you, get active for the month or don’t change a thing about yourself and just give what you can.
Movember has raised a self-reported $600 Million. It’s been used to fund initiatives that study prostate cancer and mental health as well as providing support for those recently diagnosed all the way up to the recovery process.
They’re receive good ratings from charity watchdog groups with the majority of their money raised going to their causes and minimal going to administrative costs.
Matthew Hill Foundation Inc./No-Shave.Org
Around the time Movember was growing into the United States in 2007, the Hill family were looking for a way to raise money for cancer research after watching their father lose his 18 month long battle with colon cancer. By 2009 the Matthew Hill Foundation was born. They were aware of the No-shave November concept and also sought to use it as a fun way to raise awareness.
They ask participants to give what they would have spent on shaving products or barber and salon trips. Their funds go to the American Cancer Society, Prevent Cancer Foundation, Fight Colorectal Cancer and St. Judes Childrens Research Hospital.
Where Movember is focused on the mustache like Tom Selleck, No-Shave is open to all hair growth and growing it for those who can’t due to treatments.
This is a national charity, smaller in scale but they work with much larger groups giving them some reach in achieving their goals. Thus far they have raised over $2 million for research, education and prevention.
As with your shaving habits, who, how and what you give your time and money too are entirely up to you. Charities can be a great way to have an impact on the lives of others but always be sure that the organization you give to lines up with your goals and ideals. Remember, just because No Shave November lasts 30 days, charities like it and Pinktober ones you may have heard about in Octobers 31 days are open year round.
The need doesn’t go away once the cause stops trending.
A Month of Good Health
No-Shave November is just getting started. Over the next few weeks, we’ll be spotlighting some issues related to mens health, those covered by these groups as well as others that need the attention.
There is still a lot of progress to be made with mens health issues in terms of treatment as well as our stubbornness in not seeking it out. We need more noise for these less talked about cancers and some shouting over ignored mental issues.
If that can kickoff with a simple conversation about facial hair, silly as that may seem, it beats the grave silence that’s been there.
Whether your relaxing your grooming habits for the next 30 days or keeping trim, consider scheduling a regular checkup and talk to your doctor about those aches and pains you’ve been living with because, brother, there are better things to live with.
That’s all for this week. Check back throughout No-Shave November for more hair, health and fitness.