Movember is an annual month-long fundraiser, in which people from all over the world raise awareness for men’s health issues. Since 2003, over five million men and women helped fund over 1,200 projects in more than 20 countries. Further, despite cultural expectations and the protests of their friends and family — these five million people refused to shave their mustaches, all in the name of raising money and awareness for men to live longer.
What Is Movember?
The concept for Movember was born in 2003 in Melbourne, Australia. It started as a friendly competition between guys in a bar, and it had nothing to do with men’s health. In the first-ever Movember challenge, 30 Aussie friends challenged each other to grow out their mustaches for 30 days. Their goal was to see if they could bring the infamous style of facial hair back to popularity.
As weeks went on and their mustaches thickened, hundreds and thousands of people across the world took notice. The founders transformed what was “just for laughs” into an acclaimed movement now called the Movember Foundation.
Movember’s original sponsorship partner is prostate cancer. Today, the project also focuses on testicular cancer and mental health issues, such as depression and suicide prevention. According to the American Cancer Society, prostate cancer affects about 1 in 9 men in a lifetime. With testicular cancer, incidence rates are increasing in the U.S. and many other countries. Further, suicide is a leading cause of death in America, with White males accounting for 7 of 10 suicides in 2016. Each year, Movember reverses the stigma and silence enveloping these three health issues.
Today, the Movember Foundation includes international participants from all around the world, including the United States, Canada, New Zealand, China, South Africa, and many more. From humble beginnings of only 30 entrants, the Movember Foundation debuts 50 million men in its 11th year in America.
How Can You Participate?
Below are tips on how to raise money and awareness for this charitable celebration of men’s health.
Register as a Mo Bro or Mo Sista
Whether male or female, you can register as an individual fundraiser or bring together a team. By joining the community, you are committing to fundraising or growing a handlebar, chevron, or any mustache in November. Women can take part by becoming committed “Mo Sisters,” which play a vital role in the success of Movember by encouraging and supporting the men in their lives to get involved.
Grow a Mustache
Growing a stylish upper-lip stache is a classic tradition. There are two rules you need to know:
- There are no head starts. Having an existing mustache counts as cheating. You must start Movember clean-shaven or without the slightest hint of facial hair.
- No beards or goatees. Movember is exclusive to mustaches. If you are desperate to grow a beard, you will have your chance in “Decembeard.” However, it supports a different cause, namely bowel cancer.
Make Your Mustache Famous
Let your Facebook friends know about your Movember mustache by changing your display and cover photo. When you join the community, the website allows you to generate one with your fundraising page URL, which also provides information on where to donate.
Sharing the progress of your mustache through social media is another way to raise awareness and show your support. Throughout the month, snap a photo of your progress as often as you would like. Then, share it on Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, or any other online platform you use with a simple caption like “#Movember.” This will keep your campaign top-of-mind with your loved ones and colleagues. They will eventually be so fascinated by your consistency and hair-growing ability that they will have to donate.
Host a “Shave the Date” Kickoff Party
If you love parties, hosting one is another brilliant way to promote men’s health and raise money for a great cause. In the U.S., people gather Movember participants in a “Shave the Date” party, wherein everyone removes their facial hair and restarts the growing process. Hosting an event is effective in kicking off your fundraising campaign, especially since you can ask for donations in person.
Make a Direct Donation
Not everyone is genetically blessed with the ability to grow facial hair. Luckily, there are other ways to raise money for men’s health. Some challengers ask friends, family, and colleagues to donate a dollar every day or week, while others make a direct donation with any amount they can. The possibilities of getting involved and becoming an official Mo Bro or Mo Sista are endless.
Movember started with a group of Australian blokes in a pub, who wondered why men could no longer grow mustaches without judgment. They created the challenge as a way to celebrate their favorite style of facial hair and to encourage other men to grow a mustache for a month. Today, millions of people are growing out their staches to bring awareness to men’s physical and mental health. The Movember Foundation is the only charity focusing on men’s health on a global scale, and they have one objective: to stop men from dying too young. If you want to take part, try some of the five ideas above.
Get Help for Suicidal Thoughts
Having thoughts of suicide is not a character defect, and it does not dictate that a person is crazy, flawed, or weak. It only means that someone feels more pain than they can cope with right now. In some cases, time and support can help someone overcome depression or suicidal thoughts. For immediate aid, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.
Get Treatment for Men’s Cancers
Due to the prevalence of prostate and testicular cancer, it is crucial to make routine visits to your doctor or conduct safe self-tests at home. Report any changes in the size or shape of your testicles, including a sudden feeling of tenderness and pain. In the chance of a cancer diagnosis, contact New Hope at 480-666-1403 to discuss your treatment options. You may also complete our form to get in touch with our team.