A lot of people don’t seem to know what Movember really is. If you know me personally, you know I had a pretty good moustache this year. One of the rules of Movember is that you have to start clean shaven on November 1st. So, as I’ve done for the last few years now, I shaved off my facial hair after a long night of trick or treating with my kids (at about 3am actually) and prepared for the long trek back to moustache-dom. I had registered for Movember a few weeks earlier, so I was ready to grow as a Mo Bro again.
My former moustache got me a lot of compliments, and started a lot of conversations at work, so I thought that by shaving it off, a lot of people would notice and figure out that I was doing Movember. Well, people noticed, and people were confused. “Isn’t is supposed to be Movember? Why’d you shave off your moustache? You would have won” were common comments I received. A lot of people (or at least a lot of people I’ve run into) seem to think Movember is a moustache growing contest. It’s not. Movember is designed to raise money for men’s health (prostate cancer, testicular cancer and mental health issues). How does it do this? Through donations. How do we get donations? By growing a moustache. It doesn’t matter how good the moustache looks, or how big it is, or how long, or anything like that — the moustache is to draw attention to the charity. One of the slogans of the Movember Foundation is that they’re “changing the face of men’s health”. Get it? Because our faces have changed, by growing a moustache on them.
The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge was big this summer, and it helped raise more than $115 million. It was a gimicky thing, but it worked. Movember is kind of the same thing. Growing a moustache is not that difficult; it really boils down to not shaving; and this gives us a fun way to try and raise some money, without wasting water, or catching a cold. The Movember Foundation challenges men to grow moustaches during Movember (formerly known as November), to spark conversation and raise vital funds for its men’s health programs. To date, 4 million moustaches have been grown worldwide, but we won’t stop growing as long as serious men’s health issues exist.
(now a bunch of things pulled from the Movember website before I get back to my spiel)
The Movember Foundation is the leading global organization committed to changing the face of men’s health. The Movember community has raised $574 million to date and funded over 800 programs in 21 countries. This work is saving and improving the lives of men affected by prostate cancer, testicular cancer and mental health issues.
With the sprouting of a new moustache, Mo Bros effectively become walking, talking billboards for the month, and like a run or walk for charity they use their hairy ribbon to spark conversations around the often ignored issue of men’s health and seek funds to support the work of the Movember Foundation.
Since relatively humble beginnings back in 2003 in Australia, the Movember movement has grown to be a truly global one; inspiring support from over 4 million Mo Bros and Mo Sistas around the world. The Movember Foundation currently runs official campaigns in 21 countries, however, Movember’s success can largely be attributed to the strength of the global community; regardless of the city in which they live, they feel part of something bigger, united by a commitment to help change the face of men’s health. It’s about global mateship.
The global expansion of the Movember campaign is not something that has been driven from within – it has been invited and encouraged. Our policy is only to enter a new market if there is an existing strong ground swell of support. Word of mouth, the movement of expats and the incredible power of the internet have all contributed to the campaign stretching out across the globe. The geographic expansion supports and delivers on our primary objective of spreading key health messages to men everywhere.
The idea for Movember actually started with a conversation between mates, so there’s a nice synergy to the fact that today it’s conversation that is central to achieving our goals. That one conversation back in 2003 has today grown into billions, taking place around the world.
Why did I get involved with Movember? There are a lot of reasons I suppose. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve noticed that I enjoy getting involved a bit more and “giving back” by helping to support charities. I have a friend whose father has beaten cancer; my own mother has beaten breast cancer twice now; so doing whatever small things I can do that help feels good. I suppose mainly though, and it’s the part that is hardest to talk about is mental health. I suffered from depression myself for probably a lot longer than I knew. It’s kind of the reason I started writing this blog and doing those movie reviews (which I will get back to! I’ve just been really busy lately. And there was a lot of Doctor Who to criticize). For the longest time I didn’t want to socialize, or “do” anything. Didn’t want to be around people, alienated friends and family, and was going through life, day to day with absolutely no energy at all. I got help. I feel pretty good these days, but depression is something I don’t think can be “cured”. I’ll always have good and bad days, but I know better how do deal with them now, and I recognize when they’re happening. I also know that there are lots of people out there who haven’t gotten help or can’t get help for whatever reasons. If my growing a moustache can help to raise a bit of money that can get more help and more education to more people on this matter, then I think it’s worthwhile.
So, sorry for the preachy post, it was just something I have wanted to say for a while, but wasn’t quite sure how to say it. I’ll throw a little shameless plug at you now and ask you to support the Movember Foundation wherever you are or are able to. If you want do donate to my campaign, I certainly wouldn’t mind bragging to my co-workers that I raised more than they did (http://mobro.co/gregswitzer). It all goes to good causes, so don’t be confused, by donating to me you’re not giving me money.
Thank you -G
Posted on 14-11-27, in General and tagged Change the face of men's health, charity, depression, mental health issues, moustache, movember, Movember Foundation, prostate cancer, testicular cancer. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.