â€˜He looked deeply into the mirror at himself as he trimmed his facial hair. Since hearing the news of his fatherâ€™s cancer his life had changed drastically. The world he knew was crumbling and all he had to rely on it all was facial hair. This facial cut he had come to love so much represented how he felt, who he was. He wore it with style and it raised money for the person he loved most in life; his dad.â€™
Fashion is about making a statement, showing off your individuality along with your personal interests and passions. However an aspect of fashion that is often overlooked is statement as fashion. Unfortunately tragedies do happen in life but there are ways to fight, to endure. The real question is: As a general populace do we do enough to support those in need? Do we donate time or money?
Obviously we are not all millionaires. We donâ€™t always have copious amounts of time to donate for the betterment of others. We live in the real world. Time is money.
The best way to donate that I can think of (other than the aforementioned resources) is to donate your image.
I realize this may seem like a strange idea, but let me explain.Â There are many organizations out there that stand simply to raise awareness by wearing certain t-shirts, words, colors or even hair styles. From awareness we can further affect the world in positive ways; it takes that first thread of knowledge and support.
One of my favorite organizations really shines in the month of November; or as they like to call it Mo-vember. Many of us have heard of â€˜No shave Novemberâ€™ but these men donâ€™t just simply sprout hair to connect with their aesthetic man hood. Instead they do it to support cancer research.
The Australian native organization states that:
Each year Movember is responsible for the sprouting of mustaches on thousands of menâ€™s faces in Australia and around the world, with the sole aim of raising vital funds and awareness for menâ€™s health, specifically prostate cancer and depression in men.
Men sporting Movember mustaches, known as Mo Bros, become walking, talking billboards for the 30 days of November and through their actions and words raise awareness by prompting private and public conversation around the often ignored issue of menâ€™s health.
Supported by the women in their lives, Mo Sistas, Movember Mo Bros raise funds by seeking out sponsorship for their Mo growing efforts. The rules are simple; register online at Movember.com and start the month of Movember clean shaven, before growing a Mo.
Money raised in Australia is shared equally between programs targeting prostate cancer and male depression. Funds are committed to our menâ€™s health partners, the Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia and beyondblue â€“ the national depression initiative and the Movember Foundation. Together, the three channels work to ensure that Movember funds are supporting a broad range of innovative, world class programs in the fields of research, education, support, and awareness
The mustache craze has crossed seas and is gaining support every day. Some professional athletes have even taken up the cause like Minnesotaâ€™s own professional hockey team The Wild.
Okay so if mustaches arenâ€™t your thing; the Mobroâ€™s are not the only fashion organization. Another organization that is close to my heart is To Write Love On Her Arms. The organization started in 2006 to tell a story about a girl named Renee who was struggling to fight her demons. Overall the movement has a very positive message; one of love.
To Write Love on Her Arms is a non-profit movement dedicated to presenting hope and finding help for people struggling with depression, addiction, self-injury and suicide. Â TWLOHA exists to encourage, inform, inspire and also to invest directly into treatment and recovery.
Over the years they have responded to 150,000 messages from people in 40 different countries. Talk about changing lives.
TWLOHA sells a lot of t-shirts and are supported by a great deal of bands including but not limited to Boys Like Girls, OneRepublic, the members of Paramore, Jon Foreman from Switchfoot, Sean from The Blackout, Derek Sanders from Mayday Parade, Deon Rexroat from Anberlin, Amy Lee from Evanescence, Bryce Avary from The Rocket Summer, Miley Cyrus, Casey Calvert from Hawthorne Heights, Kevin Skaff from A Day To Remember and Brendon Urie and Ryan Ross from Panic at the Disco.
However my favorite way to donate my image for this organization is during what has been deemed as â€˜TWLOHA Weekâ€™. September 10th through the 17th of every year many write in big bold letters the word â€˜LOVEâ€™ on their arms to show support. Some also celebrate November 13th as TWLOHA day (doing the same thing).
Obviously these are not the only organizations out there. Wearing pink for breast cancer, the Lance Armstrong â€˜livestrongâ€™ bracelets, they are all statements. The things we care about, the parts of life we wish to preserve. Find something beyond yourself to love, to care about, ultimately something to embrace. There are many causes out there that could use your support. And for some reason, if there isnâ€™t start one. Love is a movement. With enough effort and support who knows what the future could hold. So the question is, what do you care about?
The vision is that we actually believe these thingsâ€¦
You were created to love and be loved.Â Â You were meant to live life in relationship with other people, to know and be known. You need to know that your story is important and that you’re part of a bigger story.Â Â You need to know that your life matters.
We live in a difficult world, a broken world.Â Â My friend Byron is very smart – he says that life is hard for most people most of the time.Â Â We believe that everyone can relate to pain, that all of us live with questions, and all of us get stuck in moments.Â Â You need to know that you’re not alone in the places you feel stuck.
-To Write Love on Her Arms