It’s that time of the year, again! Although many people think that it is simply a social media challenge, No-Shave November is actually meant to raise awareness for cancer.
No-Shave November, or “Movember”, began as a way for men to grow out their beards and save the money delegated to shaving products, such as razors and creams, in order to donate to cancer research funds.
Originating in Melbourne, Australia, the Movember Foundation was created in 2003 by Travis Garone and Luke Slattery, who were particularly interested in raising awareness for prostate cancer and men struggling with depression.
All the proceeds they raised went directly to the Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia (PCFA). At the time, the first Movember check was the largest donation the PCFA had ever received.
Inspired by the success of the Movember Foundation, the Hill family of Chicago, who had lost their father to colon cancer, decided to start the No Shave November Organization in 2009 to raise money for cancer prevention, education and research. Since then, they have raised over $12 million.
According to the No-Shave November website, the goal of not shaving is “to grow awareness by embracing our hair, which many cancer patients lose, and letting it grow wild and free. Donate the money you typically spend on shaving and grooming to educate about cancer prevention, save lives, and aid those fighting the battle.”
The organization’s funds are donated to different places each year. This year they will be donated to the American Cancer Fund, the Be the Match Foundation, the Fight Colorectal Cancer Foundation, the GO2 Foundation for Lung Cancer, the Kidney Cancer Association, the National Foundation for Cancer Research, the National LGBT Cancer Network, the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation, the Prevent Cancer Foundation and the Testicular Cancer Society.
The annual fundraising tradition has been popular amongst policemen, who normally have to be fully shaven as part of their uniform. For the past three years, the SUNY New Paltz University Police Department (UPD) has let policies slide in order to participate in the event.
“Typically cops don’t grow beards, it’s a policy, so when officers grow beards it stands out to the public,” says Ryan Law, New Paltz UPD officer. “It generates conversation, and from that you can tell people what you’re doing it for, and raise awareness through those conversations.”
Not every officer in the department participates, but those who do compete amongst themselves to see who can raise the most money.
Law enjoys the friendly competition, saying, “it drives us to raise more and more and more. It adds a level of fun to doing something good and giving back to the community.”
So far, the group in total has raised $725 of their $2,500 goal. Each participating officer donates $100 of their own money, and is then encouraged to get family, friends and community members to donate.
New Paltz UPD has had a lot of success over the past three years in terms of donations.
“There’s 28 campus police departments across the state who participate, and over the past couple of years we’ve been in the top three campuses, or an individual lieutenant or officer who has raised the most money,” Law stated proudly. “Our chief and administration are very supportive of this and we owe them a thank you for that because it has done us a lot of good and gives a positive look to the department itself.”Donations can be made online through the SUNY New Paltz No-Shave November website, no-shave.org/team/new-york-state-university-police-at-suny-new-paltz. Donate today!