The really fun part of my job is when I get to cover something out of the ordinary in the world of grants. And this is certainly the case with the growing movement of volunteers known as Mustaches for Kids. No, don’t worry, this isn’t an advocacy group to support children who want to grow mustaches. Instead it is an annual fundraising effort by men coast to coast who for one month at the end of the year give up cleanly shaven faces and let their upper lip fly to raise money for various children’s charities. This hilarious concept has already raised over $2 million dollars over the years and is set to once again let the facial hair flow this October.
Mustaches for Kids
Started in 1999 by a group of volunteers in Los Angeles, there are now over 50 local chapters across the United States and Canada. Every fall, those involved solicit donations across their local communities much like in any other charity fundraiser. But instead of asking for support in that upcoming charity walk, these Stacheletes don’t face anything nearly as strenuous. They simply grow their facial hair and support some truly deserving kids in the process.
Each local effort begins with a Clean Shave Day where growers are required to completely shave their faces. Then it gets going and growing. Chapters hold weekly Mustache Checkpoints and the one month fundraising effort ends in each city with a Mustache Competition. One local grower is chosen as having the “sweetest stache” and maintains bragging rights for the rest of the year. All money raised is then donated to various children’s charities.
And while they have a national affiliation with DonorsChoose.org and the Make-A-Wish Foundation, many local chapters support their own local charities. For example, the Nashville chapter otherwise known as Stacheville supports the local Michael Stanley Child Life Fund which offers assistance to families with children who have cancer at the Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt. In a similar move, the Mustaches for Kids District of Columbia chapter has raised an impressive $250,000 since starting up in 2006. This effort across the nation’s capital supports the Kids Care Fund at the nearby Children’s National Medical Center.
If you work with an organization that benefits kids, all you have to do to get involved with Mustaches for Kids is contact your local chapter. Use the interactive map on the national website to see if you have one in your city as most have their own local websites. If there is no local chapter in your area and you would like to start one, simply consult the national website’s information on starting a chapter. As Mustaches for Kids is more of a concept for good rather than a strict rules-driven organization, you are simply asked to adhere to the spirit of the concept when adopting the fundraiser in your own local community. For any additional information not covered here or on the national website, email firstname.lastname@example.org.