The Candler Mustache Society, the newest addition to Candler School of Theology’s community, is on a unique and hairy campaign to end domestic violence this month. This new society, with some of its members pictured to the right with Dean Jan Love, has invited all Candler-associated men to grow a mustache for the month of February, or Febru-Hairy as they call it, to raise awareness about domestic violence as well as money for the Dekalb County Women’s Resource Center to End Domestic Violence.
Mustache-growers are asked to collect pledges for their superior ‘staches. The end of the month will culminate in a “Stache Bash” where the person who has raised the most money and the one with the most luxurious locks will each win a prize. In this inaugural hair growth period, there are about 16 active mustache society members, including one faculty member and one spouse of a Candler student. The husband of Whitney Walton, 1st year Master of Divinity student is participating, and Whitney says, “It wasn’t hard to convince Brandon to participate – this fundraiser gives both of us an opportunity to contribute creatively to a cause that we think is important. Plus, it gave him an excuse to rock out some crazy facial hair! It’s really exciting how his participation in the project has involved non-Candler people and generated awareness beyond the campus.”
The mastermind behind the Candler Mustache Society is Elizabeth Wilson, 1st year MDiv student. Elizabeth shares, “When I got here, I noticed an abundance of facial hair, met some big-hearted philanthropic men, and recognized a way to mobilize people to help a marginalized group. Growing a mustache costs nothing, but has a big visual impact.”
The Candler Mustache Society has partnered with the Dekalb County Women’s Resource Center to End Domestic Violence in this fundraiser. Elizabeth tells me that, “The WRCEDV was thrilled to have a group of men supporting their cause and I’ve been pleased with how our community has started to support the society.” The WRCEDV helps victims of Domestic Violence in a variety of ways, from their 24-hour hotline support and counseling center to their safehouse for victims who need a place to reside while they transition into stable living environments. Legal advocates are provided to assist women, and support groups meet weekly, which are led by trained staff.
The WRCEDV also provides childcare and child and youth advocacy for the children living in the safehouse. They also serve the larger community by offering community education to local organizations and schools about domestic and dating violence. Not only is this a fun and humorous way to raise money for a great non-profit, it is also raising awareness about domestic violence.
Chad McGinnis, 3rd year MDiv pictured to the right, says, “I usually like to change up my facial hair periodically, though mustaches are typically not on my rotation. But it makes it worthwhile knowing that whatever proceeds we raise go to helping prevent and educate about domestic violence.”
The Candler Mustache Society gathered some statistics from the Dekalb County Women’s Resource Center to teach the Candler community the reality and truth about domestic abuse. Did you know that over 100 Georgians are killed every year in domestic violence related incidents? Children living in violent homes have higher school dropout rates, increased incidence of teen pregnancy and lower-self esteem than children raised in non-violent homes. And the FBI reports that a woman is beaten every nine seconds in the United States.
Craig Newman, 3rd year MDiv student, pictured on the left, tells me, “I chose to join the group for two reasons: I have no problem growing facial hair, and I wanted to contribute to a worthy cause. Some of the participants look pretty ridiculous, myself included, but the whole thing’s been a lot of fun.”
I, personally, am impressed with these men’s commitments to helping end the cycle of domestic abuse, and to show my support and solidarity for this noble endeavor, I, myself, have taken a hiatus from shaving my legs this month, and hope the women of Candler will find further creative ways to join this hairy society.
There’s a lot growing around here at Candler, particularly as spring begins to bloom. I hope you will consider planting roots here at Candler, and invite you to learn more about the Admissions process by visiting our website. In addition, you can call us at 404.727.6326, or learn more about the admissions process at Candler by clicking here. Look for my profile on Facebook (Candler Intern-Theology) and the Candler School of Theology Group at www.facebook.com.