Will would be proud.
Justin and Blair Anderson of Betty's raised more than $12,470 during “Movember,” the annual event involving the growing of moustaches during the month of November to raise awareness of men's health issues, including mental health and suicide.
At the beginning of November, Justin Anderson decided to shave off his beard in honour of his brother, Will, who passed away suddenly on March 26 at the age of 23.
“He came in the store and I looked at him, and said, 'My goodness! What happened to you?' Because I had forgotten,” said his uncle, Blair.
“I had come in clean-shaven and he said, 'Well, maybe I'll join you. Who knows?'” recalled Justin.
“So he came in the next day with no moustache. That was for the first time in 50-plus years,” he noted.
Justin first promoted the fact he was raising money for “Movember”—in honour of his brother—on his personal social media.
“It's a good way to keep his memory alive," Justin reasoned. "He's still doing good, in a way.”
As such, he decided to raise funds for the worthy cause of mental health and suicide prevention.
“Saying he was an incredible person is an understatement," Justin posted on his "Movember” donation page.
“He was so strong, my best friend, and so much more than I could ask for in a brother," he added. ”I was truly blessed to have him in my life.
“This is in hopes that one day soon, young men don't have to battle the way that my brother did and if they are struggling, they're encouraged and able to get the help that they deserve.”
Globally, the rate of suicide is alarmingly high, particularly in men, Justin noted.
“Too many men are 'toughing it out,' keeping their feelings to themselves and struggling in silence,” he remarked.
“The Movember Foundation is aiming to reduce the rate of male suicide by 25 percent by 2030 and I want to help them get there,” he stressed.
“Help me stop men dying too young.”
The family duo's “Movember” campaign gained momentum through more social media posts and a donation box set up at Betty's.
“It's all been very touching, especially when people come to you face-to-face,” said Blair.
“Since he's passed, we've had immense support—this has been a continuation of that,” echoed Justin, adding his dad, Doug, suffers from dementia and that also falls under men's mental health.
“We are grateful of the support we've received,” he added.
Donations for “Movember” can be made until Dec. 10, so if anyone would like to donate to the Andersons, they can drop by the store or go online at moteam.co/in-honour-of-will-anderson?mc=1
The goal of “Movember” is to change the face of men's health.
Since 2004, the Movember Foundation charity has run “Movember” events to raise awareness and funds for men's health issues in Australia and New Zealand, including prostate cancer, testicular cancer, and suicide.
In 2007, events were launched in Ireland, Canada, the Czech Republic, Denmark, El Salvador, Spain, the United Kingdom, Israel, South Africa, Taiwan, and the United States.
As of 2011, Canadians were the largest contributors to the “Movember” charities of any nation.