After Matthew Hill died of colon cancer in 2007, his family wanted to commemorate him. That’s why they started the No-Shave November campaign in 2009, encouraging people to grow out their hair, something that is difficult for chemotherapy patients like Matthew. These efforts were designed to raise both awareness around colorectal cancers and money. In 2013, the movement partnered with the American Cancer Society, which boosted its notoriety. The campaign has also partnered with other organizations to fundraise: Prevent Cancer Foundation, Fight Colorectal Cancer, and St. Jude’s.
No-shave November is sometimes conflated with Movember, a similar movement that encourages men not to shave their facial hair. Although Movember was similarly designed to raise awareness about prostate cancer, the campaigns behind these movements are often overshadowed by social media posts about not shaving under the unofficial #noshavenovember hashtag. Some people don’t even realize that there are fundraising and awareness efforts behind the hashtags that pop up every November! Furthermore, because of the confusion between the two movements, most people focus on not shaving their faces or occasionally their legs, even though No-shave November is about all body hair.
Despite that, No-shave November has been successful on multiple fronts. Many people now recognize November as men’s health month, and brown ribbons are sometimes used to represent awareness of colorectal cancers. The campaign has become quite organized, and participants can register solo or as part of a team to raise money for partner organizations and compete against other people and groups. For those who want to donate directly, No-shave November has an option. They also sell merchandise in their shop, the proceeds of which go to cancer partners that help spread word of the cause. By the end of October 2020, No-shave November raised $159,000, which is more than the cause raised in the first several years of operation!
Of course, this movement is still a great reason not to shave, and it’s ripe for hilarious social media posts. No-shave November is active on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. If you participate, make sure to donate, and link or tag the organization, so others know about the good No-shave November has accomplished and can contribute to that good themselves!
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