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UFV Geography Students Raise Awareness with Facial Hair

“Movemeber” isn’t the only facial hair-themed charity taking place this month. Geography students Garrison Hodgins and Kees Vanleeuwen have started the first annual “Ask Me About My Beard” as a project for their poverty development class.

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by Brittany Wiesner (Staff Writer)
Email: cascade.news@ufv.ca

“Movemeber” isn’t the only facial hair-themed charity taking place this month. Geography students Garrison Hodgins and Kees Vanleeuwen have started the first annual “Ask Me About My Beard” as a project for their poverty development class.

The idea is that the people in the group are growing their facial hair during the month of November to raise awareness about poverty. They have set a goal to raise $500 for a foundation called “Kiva.” This foundation works on a micro-loan basis, and all donations are given to individuals or groups that suffer from poverty and who are in need of monetary funds to become established.

“So, for example, say [a woman’s husband] just died and the wife needs to support herself. She… borrows money from the website and buys a goat, sells [the] milk… and when she gets the money she pays the website back and then you can take the loan and give back into the system. It’s kind of like a bank,” said one of the founders, Garrison Hodgins. “It’s a pretty cool idea because you’re guaranteed your money back and then you can use it to help someone else out. It’s a way of getting people out of a difficult situation.”

The charity is open to all developing countries around the world. Even though it’s a school-based charity, the founders are hoping to continue long after they’ve graduated. “Our goal is to bring awareness to the cause,” Garrison said.

Donations can be made by going to their Facebook page and following the Paypal link As well, as Kees said, donations can be made at the geography department through the reception desk.

When asked about the decision to begin their drive in November, Garrison responded that since “people are growing their moustaches anyway… we thought we’d point out that it’s like Movember but it’s to alleviate poverty.” While it currently involves just the Geography department – and partial support from the Geography Under-Graduate Society – they are more than willing to open it up to all the other programs at UFV.

Since the formation of the foundation, they have added something else to entice those willing to donate “For every dollar over our goal [of $500] we’re going to leave our moustaches on for an extra hour past November. So if there’s an extra $24, we’ll have them for an extra day,” Kees said. “It helps gives a bit of extra incentive to donate, and we’ll look foolish for a little bit longer,” Garrison added. The event ends on November 30th, and if you have any questions, look for the guys wearing the “Ask Me About my Beard” pins. As well, you can visit the Facebook event page: “The First Annual Ask Me About My Beard!”

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