It’s November, and millions of men across the globe are putting away their razors and shaving cream in honor of “Movember.” Men begin the month clean-shaven, and as the 30 days of November pass by they begin to grow their own moustache – a symbol of their support for the Movember Foundation. So what is this foundation? And why the moustache?
What’s Movember All About?
The goal of the Movember Foundation is for men across the globe to actively participate in raising awareness and money for an assortment of men’s health issues. Since the inception of the Movember Foundation in Australia, nearly $300 million has been raised to educate and treat men on pressing health issues.
The foundation has gained more than two million official supporters, and it’s been growing exponentially since it started in 2004; the 854,000 registrants from 2011 was almost double the amount from 2010. In the United States, funds donated to the Movember Foundation are directed toward prostate and testicular cancer awareness and prevention.
How to Participate
Participation in the Movember Foundation isn’t exclusively financial in nature; men have the opportunity to spread the word by registering online at the official Movember website and by organizing fundraiser and awareness events. Men can start events at the workplace, campus, or in their living rooms. They can host black-tie galas, casual parties, and even their own mini-marathons to garner support and donations for the Movember Foundation. The opportunities to show support are limitless.
The Movember Foundation uses funds to support 4 main goals: Survivorship, Awareness & Education, Prostate Cancer Research, and Influencing Change in Men’s Lives. The foundation provides information and assistance to men who have been diagnosed with prostate cancer or other cancers as part of their survivorship goal.
By educating men about pressing health issues, the Movember Foundation hopes to encourage men to utilize this knowledge in a way that benefits them, whether by watching out for signs of cancer or visiting a doctor for a check-up. A large portion of donations to the Movember Foundation are used to finance trials and research to improve tests and treatments for prostate cancer. Lastly, the foundation focuses on influencing health policy and other areas to improve men’s lives.
What’s Up With That ‘Stache?
But why the moustache? Well, it serves many purposes. The moustache is a symbol of a man’s participation and activation in Movember; it’s how men publicly represent their support for the organization. Growing a moustache for Movember raises awareness for the cause among neighbors, coworkers, friends, and family. Lastly, it’s fun! Men have the opportunity to grow, trim, wax, and sculpt their own moustache and feel good doing it.
Better yet, Movember isn’t just for men. Women have the opportunity to participate and encourage their moustache-growing men during the month; although they can’t exactly grow their own moustaches (and for those “lucky” ones who can…you shouldn’t), they can provide financial support to the Movember Foundation. Any money donated toward the Movember cause goes straight to the Movember Foundation, the Prostate Cancer Foundation, or the Livestrong Foundation.
The Movember Foundation offers a creative and exciting opportunity for men (and women) to raise awareness for men’s health issues, and considering the fact that many men shy away from seeking help for possible health issues, this foundation couldn’t be any more important to the health and wellbeing of men. Prostate and testicular cancer will affect a quarter of a million men in 2012, so supporting these efforts toward mitigation is necessary.