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Throw out your razors

Mustachio-ed fundraisers support men's health

Courtesy of Keith J. Haubrich, AKA Gandhi Jones

Courtesy of Keith J. Haubrich, AKA Gandhi Jones

Patrick Rickard, Staff Writer

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The last few years you may have noticed a new fall trend, the Manly Mustaches of Movember. No Shave November and the Movember Foundation have taken on a life of their own since its Australian inception in 2003, rocketing from 30 participants to more than 5 million participants. There are now almost 16 million individual donations, raising more than $60 million a year to benefit men’s health.

So what is the focus of this movement, where is it going? The Movember Foundation’s mission statement is simple “Our fathers, partners, brothers and friends face a health crisis that isn’t being talked about. Men are dying too young. We can’t afford to stay silent.”

Currently, there are seven national level organizations worldwide that collaborate for Men’s Health Week, but the Movember foundation is the only non-profit organization tackling men’s health on a global scale, year round.

Movember seeks to address some of the biggest health issues faced by men: prostate cancer, testicular cancer, mental health and suicide prevention. In the United States the Movember Foundation has partnered with the Prostate Cancer Foundation, the LIVESTRONG Foundation and the Prevention Institute. These partners, along with Movember Foundation managed programs, ensure that donations support a broad range of innovative, world-class initiatives.

How does Movember Work? No, you don’t just get to grow facial hair and scream “NO SHAVE NOVEMBER!” There is a website, https://us.movember.com/?home, where you can sign up as an individual stache grower, you can join a local or international mustache team, you can host events for other mustachioed men’s health supporters, or you can just donate.

Once registered, Movember is a month long fundraiser where you can ask for donations in a variety of ways: people can give donations directly to you, they can go on the Movember website and donate, or you can design your own fundraiser with some people holding events and contests involving merit based collections. You can contact everyone you know and talk those folks into supporting your stache through donations , and you’ll want to keep that mustache watered and fed throughout the month of Movember.

The percentages vary slightly by country, but here in the U.S. over 77% of the money raised will go directly towards Movember Foundation partners and will be used for medical research and education. Around 16% of the money raised will go towards fundraising and a only around 6% of the money raised will go towards administrative costs. CharityNavigator.org scored the Movember Foundation at 96% for financial accountability and transparency.

There is also a large network of supporting companies that will match donations from or raised by their employees, so check with your workplace to see if they are a participating member or look them up on the Movember website’s donation page, https://us.movember.com/get-involved/donate.

“Mo Sistas” are the ladies supporting the cause, and while they are not expected to grow a Tom Selleck stache, there is a lot that women can do! Mo Sistas are asked to sign up, help recruit team members and get donations, set up events, and raise awareness through social media. This includes simple actions like what the Movember website calls “Mo recognition,” a smile or nod of recognition for a Mo Bro’s moustache growing and fundraising efforts.

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