NoShaver campaign seeks to raise funds for prostate cancer research and treatment
November 1, 2018
| by Molly Peck
Hugo Godinez remembers vividly the day he found out that his father had been diagnosed with prostate cancer. His thoughts were racing while he and his sister waited to find out more about their father’s condition. “I just remember the whole time thinking, ‘OK. How bad is it?’” Godinez recalled. “'What can we do?'”
Godinez’s father is currently doing well, thanks to treatment and lifestyle changes, and Godinez found an answer to the question, “What can we do?” A sergeant for the Los Angeles School Police Department, he jumped at the chance to participate in a fundraiser to support prostate cancer research, in partnership with City of Hope.
“We were brought in to talk about this last year with our social media team,” explained Godinez. “They brought me in just because I worked in our headquarters and I brought up that it was personal to me.”
The department decided to participate in NoShaver, a fundraising and awareness campaign. All of the officers started with clean shaven faces on Nov. 1, and grew mustaches in order to evoke conversation, encourage testing for early detection, and raise critical funds to continue leading-edge prostate cancer research and promising new therapies conducted at City of Hope. The mustaches provided a lighter, more fun tone for the fundraiser. “It was a little funny to see,” remarked Godinez, “because we’re so traditionally clean shaven all the time.”
Additionally, they were encouraged to reach out to friends and family on social media and inform them of the cause. The officers sent out “text messages, emails, Facebook things, all kinds of things on social media,” said Godinez. The idea was not to ask for money — it was simply to make it known that the department was raising money. “I made it personal because I talked about my dad on my post,” Godinez said. “It had a quick link, like, you can donate money if you want or just give that awareness out.”
Their goal was to raise about $10,000, made up of small donations from people they knew. The movement grew, between the officer’s social media and Godinez’s father, who took the cause to heart, and they raised $26,000 in one month. NoShaver has not only had a monetary impact, but has helped spread the word among the department to take health more seriously. Said Godinez, “It’s gonna continue to do big things for us, because we’re more aware of ourselves and what we need to do to protect ourselves.”
Since last year, the cause has become personal for several other members of the department, as some of the officers have been diagnosed themselves.
The department is gearing up for another round of fundraising and facial hair this November. Godinez encourages anyone who is skeptical about the success of fundraising to get involved as well. Of the department’s involvement with City of Hope, Godinez says, “it was a great partnership to have them involved with us and showing us what we can do for ourselves.” He also hopes that other police departments and workplaces will look into working with City of Hope.
“NoShaver is raising a lot of money for this awareness of prostate cancer,” stated Godinez, “It's gonna do something. It's gonna help out. Anything helps out.”