Feeling the seasonal itch to revel in the masculine autumn custom of whisker growing, I recently signed on to take part in “Movember,” a group organized for the purpose of raising awareness and support for male health issues, such as prostate cancer, by growing out one’s moustache. Now, while raising awareness for male health issues is, certainly, a noble and worthwhile cause, an issue that has been weighing much more significantly in my life of late is that of the plight of orphans and, specifically, those in Haiti. While the consequences of Hurricane Sandy’s impact on the northeast U.S. are still unfolding, the devastating effects of the hurricane hit that Haiti took in 2008 are still being felt, as well, especially by children who don’t have families to care for them.
As a Christian, I believe that Christ’s directive to aid and minister to “the least of these” and to love others as yourself couldn’t be any clearer. This is what he wanted us all, as Christians, to do: serve and care for the most vulnerable. The Hands & Feet Project has been doing just that for “the least of these” in Haiti since 2004. Even before the hurricane, the need to care for orphans in Haiti was great. In the time since, it has become even more of a critical issue. The Hands & Feet Project is focused on providing a safe, long term environment for Haitian students to grow and develop in:
Currently we are focused on building Children’s villages in the Caribbean nation of Haiti. Each village is built with the dual purpose of caring for orphans and providing a place for partners to come serve with us on short term mission trips. Our villages are lead by American and Haitian staff members who are committed to the Hands and Feet family values.
In fact, after already establishing and maintaining two Children’s villages for orphans in Haiti, they are at full capacity and are now planning to expand by building two more Children’s villages in order to take care of more children in need.
So what does this have to do with me? …or beards in general, for that matter?
I’ve decided to expand my “no-shave-November” focus for the benefit of the Hands & Feet project in Haiti and tie “No Shave November” in with the commitment that I’ve made to participate in the Country Music Half Marathon in April 2013 as part of the Hands & Feet team. I am committed to let the beard develop through the month of November, regardless, much to my wife’s chagrin. As much as I try, year after year, it never comes out looking like a beard should.
All that being said, I am willing, in order to benefit the Hands & Feet Project, to further embarrass myself, and my wife, by letting it go PAST November FOR AS LONG AS I HAVE THE FUNDRAISING INCENTIVE TO DO SO!
So, I’m asking friends, family, and strangers to lay down your hard-earned cash to commit to funding at least one day (or as many as you like!) of extra beard growth beyond November in order to benefit The Hands & Feet Project at a rate of $10 per day.
In fact, if you’re willing to commit to funding my whisker growth beyond “no-shave November,” during the month of November, I will gladly take pledge commitments of just $5 for each day, instead of the $10/day rate I’ll be asking for after 12/1/12, in order to help get the ball rolling!
If the support is there, I am willing to let it go, COMPLETELY UNBRIDLED(!), until the day I take part in the Country Music Half Marathon in Nashville, TN on April 27, 2013! That would be six full months of wild whisker growth – but ONLY if the charitable funding is there to egg me on in support of the orphans in Haiti being cared for by The Hands & Feet Project!
The specifics of how the funding will best be processed are still somewhat in the works, but, here are some options that you can consider to take part in this effort:
- Send me a check, made out to The Hands And Feet Project made out for $10 or more (depending on how long you are sponsoring my beard for) that I can send in at the end, along with other donations, in one lump sum.
- Send The Hands & Feet Project a check made out for $10 or more (depending on how long you are sponsoring my beard for) with “MARK ROCKWELL’S HANDS/FEET/BEARD HALF-MARATHON FUND” written on the memo line (but, make sure you let me know if you do so that I can keep track of how many days are funded and keep my whiskers safe from the razor!)
- Wait for the official Hands & Feet Project Team link: The Hands & Feet Project will be posting a link on their page through which you can donate specifically, in my name, to benefit the effort. However, this link may not be up until January 2013 and the whiskers are going to need some protection before then!
If you have any questions at all (my mailing address, why I’m doing this, or just to tell me that I’m crazy and you know I’ll never be able to run 13.1 miles at once), feel free to e-mail me at email@example.com
I will update my blog, Twitter ( @gracemark ), and Facebook page with updates about which days are funded and which still need funding as the ball gets rolling. If you’re generous enough, I may have to tie the beard up in April in order to keep from tripping on it while I run!
All kidding aside, this is a very serious effort and I would be sincerely grateful if you would lend me, my whiskers, and the orphans being cared for now (and in the future) your support. Please sponsor my facial hair today. I’ll be happy to start taking pledges of support….NOW! 😉