In fall of 2009, No-Shave November became a means to raise awareness and funds for charity, nationwide. Prior to its charitable establishment, the project was an annual charity that raised funds while conveying the battles endured by men experiencing depression, mental health issues, and prostate cancer.
No-Shave November can be traced back to Austria in 2003, when a group of 30 men grew out their moustaches for 30 days to draw attention to prostate cancer, depression in men, and their mental health issues. This later became known as the Movember foundation. From this foundation came the idea of No-Shave November, which is similar, but has its disparities.
The web-based, non-profit organization strives to raise awareness and funds for cancer patients. Participants embark on a month long journey, abstaining from shaving and grooming to bring attention to cancer and evoke conversations about the subject. They grow their hair freely, which many cancer patients lose, and donate the money saved, refraining from shaving and grooming.
“I participate annually to fight against cancer and raise awareness and donate. Luckily I have no dress code at work, so growing wild and free is not a problem for me,” says UWT senior, Punivalu Alafaio.
The organization assembled two rules for participants: forget your razor for 30 days, and donate the money you save by forgoing grooming and shaving. If there is a strict dress code at work, participants are able to trim. The organization isn’t solely for men; woman can join the journey as well.
“Most of my family has had cancer so it’s [No-Shave November] a big deal. This will be my first time, but I plan to shave October 31st for the last time and put away my razor for the month of November,” says UWT junior, Chelsea Huddy.
After this month long journey, the organization donates no less than 80% equally to organizations such as the American Cancer Society, Prevent Cancer Foundation, and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. The remaining 20% goes towards reserves, fundraising, and administration. The funds are utilized by these organizations to perform cancer research, provide educational and prevention cancer events, and programs supplying free information and services to cancer patients and their caregivers.
“Any time you’re drawing more attention to cancer and research it’s good. I usually shave once every four days; that’s what I am used to, but I’m prepared for these 30 days,” says UWT Director of Legislative Affairs, John Matthews.
The website strongly encourages participants to create a fundraising event or a fundraiser webpage. Sharing No- Shave November on social media is a great method to get others involved, raise awareness, and produce a community of non-shaving participants.
Refraining from grooming and shaving isn’t for everyone. So, for those who do not wish to or cannot participate, there is a page where one can make a general donation to the cause or donate to their favorite registered team or participant.