Barbra Dillon, Fanbase Press Editor-in-Chief: For the past four years, you have led fundraising campaigns to raise money for the Movember Foundation. What can you tell us about the Movember Foundation, and what motivated you to take on this endeavor?
Jason Wiggin: I’m certainly not the expert on the Movember Foundation, but I know a little bit. The purpose of the Foundation is “Stopping Men from Dying.” The foundation has been around since the early 2000s, and it was created because there are some cancers unique to men. Finding a lump can result in men just ignoring it due to embarrassment (or other reasons)…. allowing the cancer to grow and spread. So, the Foundation serves several purposes: 1) fundraising to fight cancers common to men; 2) educating people on how to identify and fight these cancers; and 3) raising awareness globally about these cancers. If you want more info, check out their site (and feel free to donate).
My motivation is simple. Several years ago, my best friend was diagnosed with Testicular Cancer. Because he acted quickly when he felt a lump (and he felt soreness) by going to the doctor, they caught the cancer early. He was in his twenties when this happened, and it would have killed him if he’d not noticed or ignored it. The thought of losing Paul was upsetting to say the least – once he was better (He is now in remission for several years!), I decided that growing a mustache and fundraising to fight cancer was a super easy action to help the cause. I’ve been going strong ever since.
BD: How does the Movember fundraising campaign work?
JW: This is so easy. Basically, you just go to the Movember site (www.us.movember.com) and create your profile. Accept the challenge to grow a mustache, volunteer, fund-raise, or give. Once your site is up, it’s intuitive and easy to share on social media, send emails, as well as customize your page. After a couple of years of truly ridiculous and awful mustaches, you can decorate your page with creepy pictures of you looking awful - like I do. Once the page is up, you market – ask your friends at amazingly cool comic book sites to put stuff up, post on social media, beg via email, and graffiti around town. For those who are less moved by charity, a couple of things (1 good, 1 bad). GOOD: if you raise a chunk of change, Movember sends you free stuff. Last year I got a spoon with a mustache guard (How cool is that?), and you get invited to the annual Movember Ball (Pun intended.), which is amazing. BAD: if you grow a mustache but don’t do anything to fight cancer, you’re an asshole. Attend an event, raise money, do something rather than just act all cool by growing a mustache but making no impact. Some of us in the movement ask people growing mustaches what they’re doing (even “I’m telling everyone about Movember who asks about my mustache!” is a good enough answer).
BD: How can other individuals initiate their own fundraising campaigns, and are there other opportunities for involvement?
JW: Tons of opportunities. Just check out the site and look for events in your ‘hood. Alternatively, host your own fundraising event. The site is good – just click Events and follow it through… Moreover, you can volunteer at events or even interview someone and put the interview on your website – which is awesome.
As far as initiating your fundraising campaign, see above (my last answer) – it’s super easy.
BD: Are there any other events or activities that you are currently working on that you would like to share with our readers?
JW: I’m boring and I live in a foreign country. I’m planning to host a soiree at my condo in Toronto – if you’re interested in joining that, feel free to post on my wall and I’ll give you the details. I’m also thinking about giving people a vote on what kind of mustache (within reason) I grow this year… donate $10 or more, and you can comment on my page. More to come on this, as I need to (obviously) make this multiple choice. I know lots of people who enjoy me wandering around looking like ginger despot from WW2 just to watch me sweat. Plus, trolls.
BD: Lastly, what would you like to tell readers who want to donate to your fundraising campaign?
JW: This is a good cause. Men are dying from these diseases, and, historically, we’ve been awful at getting the word out. Prostate and Testicular cancers are happening much more frequently than ever before, and they are fatal if not treated. If that’s not enough to motivate you, growing a mustache is ridiculous, funny, and awful all at once – how cool is that? Super cool. Plus, it’s super easy to take part… you can literally raise thousands of dollars (thus making the masses love you) without leaving your house. Create the page, market via the interwebs, grow a mustache. Voila – you’ve now shown the world that you’re a good person who is active in charities.
Also, feel free to post stuff on my page – it’s brand new, so don’t worry if you haven’t seen others post before.
If you have a volunteer opportunity or an important cause that could use the assistance of a few geeks, please email the details to barbra (at) fanbasepress (dot) com.