If you’ve noticed your male coworkers or pals sporting mustaches or big beards this month, they might just be growing out their facial hair for charity. Last year, we discussed the growing popularity of the Movember Foundation, an organization “committed to changing the face of men’s health.” Since its 2003 beginnings in Australia, the Movember Foundation has encouraged giving, promoted men’s health awareness, and has invited millions of people around the world to participate in a month long mustache-growing event for charity.
During “Movember,” which takes place annually in November, thousands of men around the world don freshly grown mustaches to raise awareness about illnesses such as prostate and testicular cancer that affect men in particular. According to the organization, 2.3 billion conversations were had as a result of Movember 2013, and $136 million was raised globally by participants.
Although Movember is arguably the largest and most popular charity foundation for men’s health, it isn’t the only one. No-Shave November is another charitable initiative to raise awareness about men’s health that involves facial hair. “No-Shave November is a unique way to raise cancer awareness,” explains the organization. “What better way to grow awareness than with some hair?” it asks.
According to the campaign, which is partners with The American Cancer Society, “The goal of No-Shave November is to grow awareness by embracing our hair, which many cancer patients lose, and letting it grow wild and free. Donate the money you usually spend on shaving and grooming for a month to educate about cancer prevention, save lives, and aid those fighting the battle.” Both initiatives celebrate facial hair and mustaches as a fun way to tackle the difficult topic of cancer and men’s health awareness, and have been instrumental in getting more men to consider and talk about their health.
For more information about the impact of Movember, be sure to check out the organization’s 2013 report.