Founded in 2003, The Movember Movement is one of the only global organizations that focuses on men’s health. You might know them from the mustaches they encourage men to grow in November, but their goals are much larger than that. With a stated objective to reduce the number of men dying prematurely by 25%, they tackle many problems that are not normally the focus of nonprofits, such as prostate cancer, testicular cancer, and suicide.
Originally, The Movember Movement started in a bar in Australia. Two friends, Travis Garone and Luke Slattery, were talking about the tragic decline of mustaches in the modern world, and how valuable it is to make a statement while raising money for a cause. So the first year, they set up the rules and convinced 30 of their friends to participate in a fundraiser (using the same rules we use today!): for ten dollars, you can grow a mustache as long as you can in the month of November. And so the movement began.
The central problem that The Movember Movement faces is that men will (as a whole) die 6 years earlier than women for preventable reasons. Two of the larger contributors, testicular cancer and prostate cancer, are usually not as well funded as other cancers that affect both genders. And so The Movember Movement is focused on promoting the health and wellness of men in order to prevent premature deaths. By encouraging men to grow mustaches, The Movember Movement is working to rally supporters around the globe.
But the movement doesn’t stop there. Recognizing the lack of resources going to specifically help men talk about and prevent suicide, The Movember Movement works for the prevention of suicides, intervention as early as possible, and the promotion of healthy lifestyles. By creating the resources, conversations, and funding to help reduce suicides, The Movember Movement hopes to reduce suicide by 25% by 2020.
So while it might seem silly to shave clean and grow a mustache in one month, consider throwing in your ten dollars for the movement. It can help save lives and raise awareness.