(CNN) — November has recently transformed into “Movember,” the month for growing beards and mustaches to raise money for fighting prostate cancer. Now, for those who aren’t interested in the shaggy look — or who might be “follicly” challenged — there’s another way to help another good cause: by cutting your locks.
The Veterans of Foreign Wars is sponsoring the VFW Mane Event, a fund-raising effort that it says started when the Pittsburgh Steelers’ Troy Polamalu offered to cut his famous hair — for the first time in a decade — to help veterans.
“My hair gets a lot of attention, and by cutting it after more than ten years, it is my hope that I can help bring to light the fate of our country’s veterans,” the NFL safety said on his VFW donation page.
Polamalu, 32, will get his long locks trimmed on Monday, Veterans Day, in front of a crowd at Pittsburgh’s Heinz Field, although it’s unclear how much he’ll actually get cut.
Bleacher Report noted that Polamalu’s Facebook post in September described a “ceremonial” haircut, and USAToday reported that he’ll have only a lock trimmed at Monday’s event, which it noted is being held in conjunction with his shampoo sponsor, Head & Shoulders.
The VFW is encouraging others to participate by setting up a donation page, or just donate to Polamalu, to support their own haircuts on Veterans Day as a unique way to raise funds for veterans. The VFW released images of some shaggy participants’ “before” photos on Twitter.
Polamalu has raised more than $53,000 (you can donate to him here).
The Mane Event is part of the VFW’s United for Veterans initiative, which it says aims to “bring awareness to VFW programs and services that work to alleviate veterans’ struggles.”
Polamalu is no stranger to supporting veterans’ causes: He and his wife, Theodora, created the Harry Panos Fund for Veterans, named after Theodora’s grandfather, who fought in World War II.
If haircuts aren’t your thing, there are many other simple ways you can help support veterans on Veterans Day or any day of the year: You can donate your frequent flier miles to help the Fisher House Foundation, which builds homes for the families of veterans caring for them during hospitalization. Or you can buy holiday cards from Puppies Behind Bars (PDF), one of many organizations that trains rescue dogs to help veterans with debilitating PTSD.
By Tricia Escobedo
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