Sunday, November 1, 2015

A Cause Bigger Than Ourselves

Since 2003 men from around the world have participated in No-Shave November or Movember.  I for one, have not joined in the movement...until now.

Here's why...

For a handful of years I have watched others grow beards and mustaches during November.  I knew the movement was in the name of men's health, but I wasn't sure I could make an impact.  My tune has changed.  As a principal and dad I see a tremendous need for our kids to have strong, male role models.

For several years many students have made their way into my heart.  I could sit here and list them, but instead I'll share a story that sums up my changed perspective.

At the end of last year I had a mom approach me.  She asked for a minute of my time.  Her son had been at Warner for a couple years and she told me that I was the only male figure he looked up to. She thanked me for driving him home on multiple occasions, having several one-on-one talks with him, and for simply taking him under my wing.  I graciously smiled and told her that she has a great son that needs her guidance and support in finding positive influences.  It was a brief, but powerful conversation.

There are many men around this country that have stepped-up as male role models.  I'm fortunate to see men each week mentor our youth in the Kids Hope Program.  I also have friends that are Big Brothers and Big Sisters, they support our youth in a crucial way.

Here are some statisitics on why we need more men to step up as role models:

  • 43% of U.S. Children live without their father
  • 85% of all children who show behavioral disorders come from fatherless homes
  • 71% of high school dropouts come from fatherless homes

So what does all this have to do with No-Shave November?  As a father I see the importance of good health and setting an example for our youth.

The most common cancer for men is prostate cancer.  Screening is suggested for at risk men between the ages of 40-45.  For all others at age 50.  Are you at risk?  It is best to consult your physician.

American Cancer Society

Here's the challenge I'm issuing:  

  1. Participate in No-Shave November and encourage your colleagues/friends to donate to the cause.  On the 10th, 20th and 30th days of the month you need to post a pic of yourself and how much you have raised.
  2. Set-up a visit to your physician.  If, at the very least, for a physical.  Be proactive with your health.
  3. Get active!  Set an example for our youth by making exercise a priority. 
  4. Donate to a worth while charity.  Most people donate to the American Cancer Society, but you can also donate to these great causes - 
      • Big Brothers/Big Sisters of America
      • Testicular Cancer Foundation
      • Zero - for prostate cancer
      • Larry King - cardiac foundation
This Week's Big Question:  Are you up for the Movember Challenge?  

Articles Worth Reading:


  1. You are a pretty incredible influence on the young people at Warner, especially the little guys. Thanks for being an example every day. Good luck in your itchy starter beard endeavors!

  2. Ben,
    I've spoken with several principals in our district and we are taking up the challenge! I spoke about the movement last night at my PTA and shared the link you included. Our group will be posting pictures on the 10th, 20th, and 30th. Thanks for making us aware of this cause!