Most people are not willing to shave their heads without a good reason. Children’s National Medical Center (CNMC) has provided that reason for hundreds of willing participants with their Be Brave and Shave campaign, which raises both awareness and much-appreciated funds for CNMC in their ongoing fight against childhood cancer. Participants in the program register for personal fundraising pages through DonorDrive and then invite family, friends, and businesses to donate money to the cause. The effort culminates with the participants shaving their heads to show their solidarity with those children who lose their hair because of chemotherapy.
Be Brave and Shave events have been taking place throughout the Washington, DC metro area since 2009. The program appeals to all makes and models of philanthropists, from young private school students, local firefighters, and patients’ families, to high-ranking political officials. One such notable official was able to raise the staggering sum of nearly $550,000 dollars in one effort. H.E. Yousef Al Otaiba (Facebook.com), the United Arab Emirates Ambassador to the United States, volunteered to have his head shaved for the cause in January of 2010. He raised more than $274,000 from his relatives, acquaintances, and colleagues and then very generously matched the donations himself, accounting for about 72% of the program’s donations for the entire year.
Yousef Al Otaiba was inspired to support the Be Brave and Shave initiative by fellow humanitarian Joseph E. Robert, Jr. Robert had endured a battle with brain cancer himself and had lost his own hair as a result of his cancer treatments. After months of growing his hair back, Robert decided to shave it off again for a good cause, and he personally raised $114,025 for Children’s National Medical Center.
After following Robert’s example, Ambassador Yousef Al Otaiba expressed his support for the hospital and the fundraising system: “Thank to the tireless work of the team at Children’s National, countless kids around the world have the support, care and attention they need to push through very challenging circumstances. I am proud to personally contribute to the hospital’s continued success.”
Although not everyone can raise $550,000 for children’s cancer research, anyone can contribute meaningfully to the success of the Be Brave and Shave campaign. Children’s National serves approximately 300 cancer-stricken children every year, and every dollar raised through this program brings them a dollar closer to finding a cure.