HoNoToGroABeMo: Growing a Beard for Charity?

Beard - No Beard From Eidetic Opacity

What do you do when your husband comes to you and says that he wants to grow a beard? I cringed. My husband has never been the type of guy to have facial hair of any kind. When he explained to me that it was a campaign to raise fund for breast cancer research, my resolve melted away.

A year ago when a friend of ours joined How Not To Grow A Beard Month (aka HoNoToGroABeMo), my husband, and fellow GeekDad, Brian McLaughlin was inspired that there was something he could actually do to inspire support for breast cancer research. Up to this year, our family has given an annual donation to one of several breast cancer charities in the name of members of my family who have survived a breast cancer diagnosis. It is a cause I whole heartedly support. The problem has always been that it is hard to involve the guys. I mean, men don’t have obvious breasts and it seems that all of the breast cancer campaigns are full of pink and can be tough for guys to relate to.

Founder Kris Johnson was inspired by National Novel Writing Month (or NaNoWriMo, as it is known to participants worldwide) and its 30-day campaign to encourage novelists to write more than 500,000 words. Participation in NaNoWriMo has increased from 21 participants in 1999 to more than 200,000 writers in 2010. In March of 2007, Kris was also inspired by Evo Terra’s 5 o’clock shadow project where he would take a photo of himself at 5 PM everyday to show the world how much stubble he had amassed. So, in November of 2007, Kris decided to combine the model of NaNoWriMo with that of the 5 o’clock shadow program to create HoNoToGroBeMo. Its open to anyone “foolish” enough to set aside their razor for a full month.

The rules are simple:

  1. Shave every bit of hair off your chin, cheeks and upper lip on October 31st.
  2. Don’t shave again until December 1st.
  3. Take a photograph of the “progress” at roughly the same time every day and post it to the Internet.

Donations are accepted throughout the month to support your favorite facial hair farmer, each brings their own sense of personality to their daily posts. Some provide incentives to donors, some like to remain anonymous at all cost, and for others, like my husband, growing a beard apparently turns them quasi-evil like Dr. Doofensmirtz. The whole campaign is in good fun as 100% of the donations go straight to funding breast cancer research.

When my husband, Brian, decided that he was ready for a challenge, I kept an open-mind and supported him the whole month. I have reserved any real opinion of the facial hair till tomorrow, December 1st. That hasn’t been hard since I’m still on the fence. Today is the last day to contribute and if you are are interested in donating, please visit the HoNoGroABeMo donation site before midnight tonight!

Here has been the progression of his facial hair and his evil scientist side emerging.

Day 1 - Fresh shave and the husband I've always known
Day 6 - Nearly a week of growth has caused Brian to become friends with Dr. Doof!


Day 7 - The beard has made him contemplate building a freaking rocket
Day 15 - The optics for his rocket's laser are coming along nicely.
Day 18 - The rocket prototype! Its so shiny.
Day 23 - The first sign of wavering, the beard itches, a lot.
Day 25 - The real laser that Brian rigged to attach to his rocket.
Day 29 - The rocket is complete! The beard is not.
Day 30 - Today, the results of 30 days without a razor.

So what do you think? Should he keep the beard a bit longer? Are you interested in donating to the bearded fellows? Would you be interested in joining next year (or maybe your husband)?


Liked it? Take a second to support GeekDad and GeekMom on Patreon!
Become a patron at Patreon!

6 thoughts on “HoNoToGroABeMo: Growing a Beard for Charity?

  1. Well, my husband found out about some internet holiday called “No-Shave November”… last year. He had already started growing out his goatee to dress as Jamie (from Mythbusters) on Halloween, and then this came up and he went with it. Then after that he realized that he could *really* annoy his mother at Christmas if he kept it, and….

    here we are a year later, and the goatee beard is now quite impressive. Everyone under the age of 40 likes it (including me). Everyone over 40 seems to dislike it or at least not get it. Now, he has always had some sort of goatee- it just hangs 6 inches off his face now. He combs it, and even uses conditioner on it, but hasn’t tried straightening it with a flat iron yet.

    As long as it is neat, I like it pretty well. Since he keeps it neat we have no issues. It’s a lot softer than stubble would be, and even softer than freshly trimmed normal goatee.

    And it makes our 6 year old daughter giggle when she braids it. 🙂

    1. Hi there. Thanks for the write-up! I’m Bob, web master and administrator for Beards4Boobs and HoNoToGroABeMo.org. I just want to clarify a few things for your readers.

      Funds donated to Beards4Boobs go through PayPal and PayPal takes a cut. I volunteered to make up the difference on the first $3,000 of donations so that 100% of the money donated would go to the BCRF, but alas I can’t cover all of it. Since we’re over $3,000, contributions will be reduced by the amount of the fee, $.30 + 2.9%.

      Also, the website is up all year, and everyone is welcome and encouraged to donate, but for the purpose of determining the “winner” of our friendly little competition, only contributions through 23:59:59 EST will count.

      And finally, thank you for allowing Brian to participate, he’s been an evil and welcome addition to the HoNo fraternity. 🙂

  2. Thank you for the great write-up, and thank you for putting up with Brian’s facial foliage throughout the month.

    While HoNoToGroABeMo (doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue, does it?) was my brain child, credit for turning it into a charity must be given to Bob Voegerl. After Bob’s mother, Ann, passed away in May of 2009, he decided to turn our annual silliness into something worthwhile. Dubbed “Beards4Boobs,” all funds raised are donated to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.

  3. I love the idea and I love your husband’s beard! Thanks for sharing and thanks to him for being such a good sport, having his experiment plastered all over the internet! 🙂


  4. <– just look for a moment, please, if you would.

    Look at that baby face. See how it deserves a beard.

    I wish I'd known about this, as my wife is very passionate about breast cancer research. I keep it minimal (Van Dyke or classic goatee, or handlebar moustache) in the warmer months, but grow it out full in the winter. Although I'm very rarely completely clean-shaven, this is pretty close to what I do already.

    I want to fully second everything that's been said about grooming a beard; I can say with confidence that in my experience, keeping such impeccable makes it easier for others to accept a grown and kept beard. (I also have the added benefit of fine, soft hair– which means when the beard is seasoned, it is NOT scratchy!)

Comments are closed.