It’s that time of year again—time to put a pause on shaving all in the name of charity. Non-profit organizations, like Movember, spearheaded the idea to stop shaving during the month of November over a decade ago as a way to raise money for research, cancer awareness and other men’s health issues. What started small has since snowballed into a global event coined No Shave November, benefitting an endless number of charities.
From Left: Patrolman Carl Klotz, Sgt. Joe Perna.
Across the state, people are participating in No Shave November and that includes your local police officers. The Harrington Police Department decided to participate this year as a way to raise money for the Delaware chapter of Concerns of Police Survivors (C.O.P.S.) and reach out to the community. “There’s a lot of families who have lost their loved ones in the line of duty,” says chief Norman Barlow and C.O.P.S. is a way to lend a helping hand to those experiencing such loss.
Chief Barlow and his team are using November and their remarkable facial hair as a way to strike up conversation with their community. While in uniform, a police officer would never normally have a full beard, but this month is a welcomed exception. “The community loves it… some of them do a double take when they see us,” he says.
Raising money is a key part of the Harrington PD’s mission, but it also “gives us a chance to show that we care and we’re here to help, protect and serve,” Barlow says.
From left: Deputy Chief Kevin Feeney, Cpl. James Spadola
The Newark Police Department’s mission is a full belly throughout Delaware. Their method? Full beards. The department has already raised over $2,000 and 800 pounds of food for the Food Bank of Delaware since it started last November. “We wanted to make it a local cause,” Cpl. James Spadola says. “It’s just a great way to give back to the community.”
Similar to their southern neighbors in Harrington, the Newark Police Department’s officers are typically not allowed to grow beards, but in November they flaunt facial hair with pride—even posting updates on their Facebook page.
With 22 officers participating, Cpl. Spadola hopes that the Newark community recognizes this and donates to the Food Bank by dropping off non-perishable food at City Hall. “Hopefully they appreciate the aesthetics of the beards as well,” he adds with a chuckle.
From Left: Deputy Chief Mark Farrell, Sgt. Scott Simpson.
Vincent Strano and his staff at Styles Barbershop in Wilmington decided they wanted to do something fun for No-Shave November. Before they knew it, their little something fun became a much larger event getting the whole community involved in putting down the razors.
Strano structured the fundraiser for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital like a walk-a-thon where people sponsor by the day depending on how long you can go without shaving. But that’s not the only way you can participate, Strano adds. “Not everyone is able to give money, but they can still generate conversation and raise awareness,” he says. On Nov. 28 at 1 p.m., Strano will host an event at his Little Italy location to shave participants’ beards off (or into funny mustaches) and let the person who raised the most money throughout November shave his head. “It’s a great event to bring the community together,” he adds.
Still unsure about a beard? Don’t worry; it’ll probably grow on you.