As we make our way into November, don’t be surprised if your local police officers look like they haven’t shaved in weeks.
For the privilege of growing out their facial hair, officers from Rochester are paying up and participating in “No-Shave November” in support of veterans and military families.
Traditionally, police departments have a grooming policy where officers must remain clean-shaven. However, for the 30 days of November, police officers in Rochester will be permitted to grow beards and goatees in exchange for donating $100 to Home Base, a Red Sox Foundation and Massachusetts General Hospital program whose mission is to help veterans and military families heal from invisible wounds – like traumatic brain injuries and post-traumatic stress disorder – regardless of their financial means or discharge status.
The movement is spearheaded by MBTA Transit Officer, Army veteran, and Purple Heart recipient Kurt Power who sought care for his own invisible wounds at Home Base.
“The only wish I have is that we give the gift of hope. Hope to all the veterans that don’t believe reintegration is possible. Hope to the approximately twenty veterans a day that may give up tomorrow,” Powers says. “If I can convince just one person who needs help to listen to me and put their trust in the treatment at Home Base, this will all be worth it.”
This month, Powers and fellow responders at the Rochester PD will go “beyond the badge” to not only help raise money for a program that is changing the lives of veterans and their families, but to evoke conversation, raise awareness, and break the stigma associated with getting care.
“We are doing this to honor those who sacrificed for us and asked for nothing,” said Powers.
To date, the first responder No-Shave November campaign has raised $75,000 for Home Base. Rochester has a goal of $2,500 and is asking community members, business owners, and family members to join the cause and donate.
The Rochester Police Department is among 46 Massachusetts police departments to participate in the No-Shave November campaign supporting veterans and military families.