Just recently I have found my way to doing something both worthwhile and charitable at the same time. I was asked to help a friend with a local charity and I couldn't be happier for doing it. Now I am asking you to help me help those in need.
The charity I work for is called "Mustaches 4 Kids." It is a national organization that has many chapters that do great things to help out the children in their local communities. Here in Charlotte, we are raising and donating money to Pat's Place.
Pat's Place is a child advocacy center that helps sexually abused children. A child-advocacy center is a blessing for any child dealing with abuse. When a child is abused, they tell their story to a counselor. Then they retell the story to either an officer or a DSS agent. Then they tell it again to a doctor or PA. When this happens, the child is forced to relive the trauma of being abused again and again. At Pat's Place, the children get to talk to a counselor, while in a separate room a DSS agent, a police officer, and a physician's assistant watch on a closed circuit screen the interview process. This allows the child to only have to tell their story once. At the same time, if there is any immediate action needed - ie, the child needs to be removed from a situation immediately, then the action can be taken swiftly. Also, the local hospitals provide on-call PAs to assist in checking the children for any health concerns. When the children are finished with the process, they are taken to another room and given the opportunity to pick a toy before they leave. This allows them to have a chance to have a smile on their face when they leave and to be happy. Pat's Place also provides a life-time open door policy. This allows the child to return at any time in their lives to receive help, if needed.
Here at the local chapter of Mustaches 4 Kids, we are asking men of the Charlotte area to grow mustaches and raise donations to help support Pat's Place. The rules are simple. You have to start clean shave and grow a mustache from corner to corner. No handlebars. No fu-man chus. Nothing but the top of the lip there Mr. Selleck. Throughout the month of October we are having wonderfully coordinated checkpoints to provide all of our growers the opportunity to meet each other and realize that they are not alone in their quest for the upper lip treasure. Each of these checkpoints are at local watering holes that we couldn't be happier to have involved. It shows that while, you don't have a 'stache, it doesn't mean you can't help. Not only do we have growers, growing individually we have local companies participating in our first ever group grow off. Thanks to the lovely staff at Suite Charlotte and Dixies Tavern for wanting to and enthusiastically growing for us. Plus, we have included many of the local Charlotte fire stations in our quest to conquer Charlotte with mustaches.
At the end of the month, we are going to celebrate our growers with a 'Stache Bash. This is a festive night in which the growers will dress up in a Halloween costume that is centered around their mustache. It is a great night and a great celebration. We have wonderful trophies for different categories including "Best Costume," "Best Mustache," "Biggest Fundraiser," and "Worst Mustache."
The thing to remember that is important is this. While we have the March of Dimes and the Jerry Lewis telethon for Muscular Dystrophy, there is no loudly spoken and displayed drive for children who are sexually abused. Silence promotes Violence and those of us who are supporting Mustaches 4 Kids are happy to yell as loud as we can.
If you are interested in helping, here are a couple of links for you.
http://www.firstgiving.com/patsplace/m4kcharlotte - This is the first giving donations page for our local fundraiser.
http://m4kclt.org/ - This is our local chapters page and it will also help answer any questions about what and why we do it.
Plus, you too can be the proud owner of one of these t-shirts that we had for our local Queen City growers. Everyone should have one. The money goes to Pat's Place as well. If you want one, please email the m4kclt.org website for more details.
I personally couldn't be happier to be part of this and emphatically ask any and all people with or without children to take a moment to read more and find a way to help. While I already have a wonderful mustache, I'm happy to have people ask me about mine and tell them about Mustaches 4 Kids. So, my question to you is, "Are you going to grow one, too?"