Every November since 2009, thousands of people have been participating in the social media phenomenon “No-Shave November.” Throughout the entire month, our Facebooks and Instagrams are flooded with pictures of bearded men and hairy-legged women, captioned “#NoShaveNovember #LetItGrow.” Most people are familiar with this trend, but do they know why they’re doing it? It’s not because they are lazy, or have superstitions about shaving; the movement has a much deeper meaning. No-Shave November is a web-based, nonprofit organization with the mission of “growing cancer awareness and raising funds to support cancer prevention, research, and education.”
The No-Shave November Organization was founded in 2009 by the Hill family in Chicago, after the family lost their loving father of eight, Matthew Hill, to colon cancer in 2007. To honor their father’s legacy, the Hills encourage others to stop spending money on razor blades and shaving cream for one month, and instead donate the money to the family’s cause. They urge all participants during No-Shave November to treasure their hair for the many cancer patients who have lost their hair while undergoing chemotherapy. Started as a simple Facebook page for a few family and friends, it is now a nationwide movement embraced by Americans nationwide. Participants in the No-Shave November campaign have helped the family expand their organization and raise over two million dollars.
No-Shave November’s influence has spread across the country, but has it spread to Ridgewood High School students? Certain students were asked if they participated in No-Shave November. Mike Rego, a sophomore at RHS, said, “I personally do not need to shave, but I have not gotten a haircut yet. I have not donated any money to any organization.” Davis Flusche, also a sophomore, explains, “I have been participating in No-Shave November this year. I think it’s a great cause, but my family and I haven’t made a donation yet.” No-Shave November is not limited to only guys; girls can participate too. An RHS sophomore, Nora Donnelly, says that she has heard of No-Shave November, but is not participating in it this year. However, she notes that her family has made some donations to support the cause. It seems that while many RHS students have heard of No-Shave November, only some of them are participating, and a few are giving donations to the cause.
This year, the No-Shave November Organization is working with the Prevent Cancer Foundation, Fight Colorectal Cancer, and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital to spread cancer awareness and raise donations. If you are interested in participating and donating, it is not too late; it is as simple as putting down your razor for a month. The No-Shave November website allows you to sign up and create your own personal fundraising page. Every single donation you make will go towards researching new treatments, bringing scientists one step closer to finding a cure for all cancers. Just put down the razors and let your hair grow!
Graphic: Elizabeth Benjamin