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November is a time for good craft beers, hearty meals, and of course, “No-Shave November.” There comes a time in every man’s life where he must put himself to the test to see where he stands among other men. Some ancient cultures put men against each other in bloody and arduous feats of strength, many of which proved to be deadly and dangerous to say the least. Luckily, for us modern men, one of our feats of strength is a little less dangerous: growing the most epic beard in just one month.
What are “No-Shave November” and “Movember”?
They are two fantastic public health charities that are aimed at building awareness and raising money for cures for men’s health issues, including prostate cancer and other cancers men face. While both are great causes, they are different in some substantial ways. “No-Shave November” was started by Americans from Chicago in 2009, according to their website No-Shave.org:
No-Shave November has been a tradition for many years, but it wasn’t until the fall of 2009 that members of the Chicagoland Hill family decided to use it as a means to raise money for charity. It was a project that held special meaning to the eight Hill children after their father, Matthew Hill, passed away from colon cancer in November 2007.
Their aim is to encourage participants to join in a “month-long journey during which participants forgo shaving and grooming in order to evoke conversation and raise cancer awareness. Learn more about how you can get involved and start getting hairy!”
“Movember” is actually an Australian charity started by two gentlemen from Melbourne, Travis Garone and Luke Slattery, which started over a conversation in a pub about the power of mustaches and their ability to garner attention and start conversations. According to their website:
Inspired by the moustache's ability to generate a conversation, the crew decide to take things to the next level. Adam Garone steps up to register the Movember Foundation and create a website. Justin Coghlan (JC) comes on board to kickstart things in Queensland [in 2004].
Funds raised go to the Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia (PCFA). At the time, that first Movember check was the largest single donation the PCFA had ever received.
Thus, two different charitable organizations were born together under a unique cause: awareness for men’s health and supporting fathers, husbands, and all the other special men in your life and around the world as they face serious health challenges.
In many ways, hair is the great uniter. It says a lot about you and helps you say your piece to the rest of the world. In order to honor these two charities, we have put together an appropriately epic guide to help your beard (or ‘stache!) dominate this year. Beards are great on their own, but when we use their power to help people in need, everybody wins.