Students might have noticed that some officers in the Drexel University police department look a little bit different recently. This month, Drexel Police has participated in the nationwide No-Shave November campaign to help raise money and awareness for cancer research.
“No Shave November is a month-long journey during which participants forgo shaving and grooming in order to evoke conversation and raise cancer awareness,” according to the No-Shave November website.
Giving back to the community by being involved in the No-Shave November cause is an important part of being a police officer, according to Officer Jonathan Freeman.
“After researching several [websites] that participate in the event, we as the Drexel police department elected to participate with no-shave.org,” Freeman said. “This [website] donates to three organizations — Prevent Cancer Foundation, Fight Colorectal Cancer and St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital. This is one of our ways to get involved with the community as a department, humanizing the badge.”
At the end of the No-Shave November campaign, all of the donations will be evenly split among the three organizations.
No-Shave November is about creating awareness in a fun way. Participants can grow a beard, experiment with a mustache, let normally-shaven legs go natural, skip a wax appointment and so on, according to the No-Shave November website. Grooming and trimming are perfectly acceptable, especially for those needing to meet dress-code requirements, like Drexel Police.
“The concept of No Shave November is to grow awareness by embracing our hair, which many cancer patients lose, and let it grow wild and free,” Freeman said. “[You are encouraged] to donate the money you typically spend on shaving and grooming to educate about cancer prevention, save lives and aid those fighting the battle [against cancer].”
Aside from fundraising, the main goal of the No-Shave November campaign is to educate. Freeman has taken an active role in educating others through the cancer awareness event.
Freeman championed the No-Shave November effort alongside Officer Seth Kanner. He said that choosing to take initiative to head the event for Drexel Police was an easy decision.
“Taking the lead in this project was a ‘no-brainer,’” Freeman said, “As well as creating a fun event for our officers, [this project] has also increased morale amongst the ranks by allowing us to step outside the normal policy by growing facial hair — which is typically not allowed.”
Drexel police policy requires officers to remain clean-shaven to maintain a professional appearance, according to Freeman. However, the department adopted the rules allowing police officers to grow facial hair for the event, provided they keep it neatly groomed and trimmed.
Freeman explained that participation in the No-Shave November event was voluntary for Drexel police officers. In total, 26 officers stepped up to grow out their facial hair and raised over $750 toward cancer research.
“Drexel encourages its employees to donate to charities and this was a fun way for our officers to donate,” Officer Freeman said. “Whether it’s in the Drexel, Philadelphia or nationwide setting, raising awareness and money for cancer research needs to continue until there is a cure.”
Supporting the cancer cause as a Drexel community is so important, Freeman explained. As one of the leading causes of death in America, cancer has touched the lives of so many — including Drexel police officers.
“A handful of our officers have had loved ones in a battle with cancer,” Freeman said, “Some of those have survived, while others, unfortunately, have passed away. This event is a way that we can assist in the ongoing campaign to find a cure for cancer.”
According to the No-Shave November website, over $925,000 has been raised this year for cancer research. The funds come from 13,177 members, 1,131 teams and 250 organizations.
More information about the national effort and how to get involved with the cause can be found at no-shave.org.