If you're a beard naysayer, it's too late...I've already been growing my beard for over a year and a half. But no worries because from here on out, I'm leaving its fate up to you! I'd like to get a fun, little competition going to raise funds for Niños de Guatemala (NDG), the non-profit organization I volunteered for the three months I was in Guatemala. It’s a SHAVE IT, SAVE IT or DO SOMETHING CREATIVE competition, and here's how it works: If you want me to shave my beard and go back to being a civilized member of society, then you donate to the SHAVE IT pool. If you want me to save the beard and continue being a Neanderthal and getting mistaken for one of the guys from Duck Dynasty, then you donate to the SAVE IT pool. OR if you want me to rock some crazy facial hairstyle like a handlebar mustache, a soul patch or mutton chops, then you donate to the DO SOMETHING CREATIVE pool. The pool that finishes the month with the highest amount of donations wins and I will succumb to the facial hair fate that you all have chosen for me! If the SHAVE IT pool wins, I’ll post pictures of the “shave” (probably do some crazy styles in the process) and pictures of my new look to my Facebook page for everyone’s viewing pleasure and you can all watch in horror as I’m transformed into a little boy again. If the SAVE IT pool wins, I’ll continue to grow my beard for 6 more months and I’ll post weekly photos to Facebook to keep you updated. If the DO SOMETHING CREATIVE pool wins, I’ll conduct a vote on my Facebook page and the ridiculous facial hairstyle with the most write-ins wins and I’ll rock that look for an entire month and keep you updated with weekly photos. The competition will begin June 4th and end July 4th.
Now, only nine years later they're running two schools in extremely impoverished areas right outside of a popular tourist town, Antigua, Guatemala. They have an amazing staff and fantastic teachers and some of the most intelligent, fun, and genuine elementary school students I have ever met. The work they are doing is great; they are giving quality education to kids who without NDG would have probably never had the opportunity for an education at all. I had an awesome time down there, met some wonderful people, became BFFs with a three year old (the guy I'm flexing with in the photo), had my face painted while 20 preschoolers chanted "Toreeeeeto" "Toreeeeeto" like we were gearing up for battle, and I wouldn't trade the experience for anything! I knew I'd get back to the States and want to do more so I made a deal with some of the volunteers and staff members that when I started contemplating shaving my beard, I'd find a way to raise some money for Niños. So here it is! Any and all donations are welcome and appreciated, they just have to be a minimum of $10(remember it's for the kids!) I’m going to get things started with a $20 donation to each pool.