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Mustaches are Magical

If you think mustaches are somehow creepy, old fashioned or just for men with fire trucks or police cars – think again!  Mustaches are sexy (well at least in this case they are)!  And the men I’ve met through Mustaches for Kids are hip, handsome, fun, and young professionals.

Mustaches for Kids started three years ago.  Our friend Katie is the east region’s “head-honcha” of DonorsChoose.org, an online platform where teachers post much needed classroom projects and regular folks help fund them.  Katie needed a fundraiser for DonorsChoose.org and thought mustaches would be fun!  Our core group of 10 jumped on board, some begrudgingly.  We thought we’d get a few friends to grow and we’d raise some money.  That first year, the “few friends” became 70 young men.  And “some money” turned into $55,000.  What was most amazing – we tapped into a new, otherwise unengaged group of young men and introduced them to philanthropy.  The majority of the men were in their early 20’s to 30’s, unmarried and without children.  In all likelihood, they would not have started giving back to their community, least of all to the public school system, for another 10 years. 

The first year, we enticed guys to grow with the prizes.  The best and worst ‘staches win free beer for a year.  This year, Dan Black, who won for best ‘stache didn’t even know there was a prize.  In year three, we’ve found the men who are part of Mustaches for Kids did it for the camaraderie (we get together at a local bar every Thursday for four weeks), for the kids, and I guess because it’s silly.  And thanks to our guys, they got 1,092 people to donate, raising more than $58,000 to help more than 26,000 Charlotte-Mecklenburg students in high-need classrooms.  (And the money and matching funds are still coming in!)

(you can see more pictures from ‘Stache Bash 2010 here!)

Through this experience, I’ve learned there are really two types of men out there: those who will look a bit foolish and grow a mustache to raise money for a charitable endeavor and those who won’t.  I like hanging out with the guys who will.  They’re more fun and they’re conscientious enough to care about others a little bit more than caring about their appearance.

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6 Responses to “Mustaches are Magical”

  1. Katie says:

    I’m with Susan Tran on this one. I like the guys who will. :)

  2. Jules says:

    Agreed. Their mustaches may not be sexy, but what their mustaches represent certainly are.

  3. Keith Messick says:

    I’m sorry, but my T-shirt in that video is pure magic.

    On another note, I love donorschoose.org and mustache’s for kids for a couple (actually four) of reasons:

    1. I love the idea of supporting a specific “project” as opposed to giving to some monolithic non-profit and hoping that the money is used wisely. That’s not a slam of charities like the united way & red cross because I total appreciate the work that they do, but even as altruistic as I’d like to think that I am, I take a certain satisfaction & pride out of knowing that Mrs. Smith’s 3rd grade class will now have the that they need to learn more, be more creative, become artists, athletes, composers, computer developers, scientists etc….

    2. Give “Local” — I think that eating local is good for your body (amongst other things), I think that giving local is good for your spirit. If everyone gave back to their own communities then we’d all be better off. I think many people don’t give because of a lack of connection to the cause. Nothing is more “connective” (admittedly odd choice of words) than supporting your local public school system. I’d channel Whitney and say that “I believe the children are our future…” but Whitney married Bobby and is no longer considered the source of wisdom she once was.

    3. Have Fun — Everything in this World is better when we’re all having fun. DonorsChoose has figured that out and harnesses that better than almost anyone. In fact, 99% of “for” profit companies could learn a lot from this non-profit. We’re all more productive when having fun. Companies spend millions of dollars on trying to drive employee engagement, when in fact they could just talk to Donorschoose, and save the money. Or actually, give that money to their local school system.

    4. Competition — M4K has a competitive aspect that I think is healthy & fun. I think it inspires people to be creative “growers” & givers. It’s all done in the spirit of supporting the overall cause which is amazing.

    So there. I heart donorschoose & I look damn sexy with a mustache.

    • suetran says:

      messick – you hit the nail on the head with donorschoose.org. it’s so cool to know you’re specifically helping the students in mr. plum or ms. evans class.
      btw – your glamour shot is awesome! word is some ‘stache bash pix are appearing in upcoming Uptown Mag. sweet!

  4. Becky says:

    okay, seriously — when did you start this blog. Feeling really out of the loop here…

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