By Clara Gilleland
Each year during the month of November, thousands of men opt to participate in “No Shave November,” also known as “Movember.” While the name is self-explanatory, not everyone knows the purpose of No Shave November.
No Shave November is actually an awareness movement that is meant to raise awareness for men’s’ health. According to the official website, www.no-shave.org, the movement was started in 2009 by the Hill family from Chicago, Illinois. After their father, Mathew Hill, passed away in 2007 due to colon cancer, the family decided to do something in order to help to raise money for charity to support men’s health awareness. The tradition of No Shave November had already been a custom for many years before, but the Hill family decided to turn it into something a little more meaningful.
The idea behind No Shave November is that when men participate, they will be willing to donate the money that would typically be spent during the month on grooming tools like razors and shaving cream towards “cancer prevention, education, and research.” The rules permit exceptions for people who would like to participate but who might have a strict dress code at their workplaces: “grooming and trimming are perfectly acceptable.” Even without donating money to the organization, the point is also to raise awareness. By not shaving during the month, the Hill family hopes that participants will either donate to the cause or at least spread awareness about the cause and encourage others to donate.
On the organization’s website, participants have the ability to register on the site to create a fundraising page, where the participants can donate money themselves and tell friends and family members to donate. Participants can sign up as individuals, or as a team to make it a group effort. People can donate specifically to their favorite participant or team, or they can make a general donation to the cause. The organization works in partnerships with several other organizations in order to achieve their goal, including the American Cancer Society, the Prevent Cancer Foundation, Fight Colorectal Cancer, and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. The organization is dedicated to truly doing everything they can to raise money for cancer research, promising “from Sept. 1 to Dec. 31, No-Shave November will donate no less than 80% of donations equally to participating charities.”
Whether you plan to participate individually, get a group together and “compete” as teams, or simply donate to the cause, helping to support No-Shave November is an important and meaningful way to support cancer research and men’s health in general. The organization has raised over $2 million to date, and plans to continue raising many more funds over the years.