A silly picture of me

Keep Schoon Bearded

TL;DR: Donate here to keep me bearded.

If you need positive motivation, donations help alleviate homelessness in my community. If you need negative motivation, this beard is really itchy.

Periodically, it happens: a razor is left behind, or time conspires against my morning shave, and a beard appears: sandpaper at the outset, shapeshifting into an full-on Brillo pad shortly thereafter. If I go so much as an extra day without shaving, my face is officially put on the Does Not Fly list for my wife's lips, banned from entering the vicinity until this beast is eliminated.

Needless to say, facial hair and my face do not mix.

That said, there are those in my life who attest to the the magic of a great beard, regularly picketing I join them in cultivating my mane to its burly potential. Unassuaged by contests from my wife, my kids, or myself, each time the Beard rears its ugly head (i.e. my own), they celebrate its arrival and promote its continued longevity and reign over face and follicle.

Fast-forward to late October this Year of Our Lord, 2016.

Through the usual pedestrian means, my razor was packed bladeless into our suitcase while traveling for a family emergency to the Greater Houston Area, TX. Unable to wander over to a convenience store so far into the backwoods, and overcome by a general, disease-induced malaise, my guard was lowered and the Beard arose again to an extent hitherto unexperienced. I eventually fought back the beast, capturing its visage to share with its fans before its inevitable conquest.

To my surprise, however, my wife went so far as to suggest I participate in No-Shave November.

Had she become a turncoat, advocating for the flourishing of this face-based abrasive? Had I become so blind in my anti-scruff zeal that I failed to recognize an accidental appeal to my own five o'clock shadow? Time may tell, though I will need to give Time time to do the telling.

I acquiesced. No-Shave November was on.

Typically, it seems, No-Shave November—also called Movember—involves fundraising: in Movember's case, prostate cancer and other men's health issues. I feel called to do similarly, though I don't feel called to do the same.

Well into November, I remarked upon a common joke in the technical community, that we—developers stereotypically bedecked in ragged hoodies, T-shirts, jeans that don't fit, and ratty sneakers—go so far as to look "homeless" when facial hair starts settling in.

You know what would make that "joke" even funnier? If there weren't so many actually homeless people.

An amateur game designer myself (though I used to enjoy the privilege of working on games full-time), I decided to turn this into a game, "Keep Schoon Bearded", with ever-increasing monetary goals directly linked to the continued survival of the behemoth currently taking over my face.

The Rules

Speaking of which, the beneficiaries will be the Lighthouse Mission and Lydia Place, both non-profits in Bellingham working to tackle homelessness in our community. The Lighthouse Mission has the only drop-in center between Vancouver, BC and Everett, WA, and I know people personally both who need and who provide their services. Lydia Place, on the other hand, works with families in need of housing, specializing in helping those who have previously suffered from abuse. This is a huge problem nationwide, and my heart breaks from the ways men have caused and exacerbated these abuses. How appropriate that my manly face-fuzz can help fix it, even if only in this small way.

So _please_—friends, family, co-workers, and compatriots in the fight against homelessness—keep my face itchy, keep me bearded, and let's keep a few more people warm this winter.

Thank you,

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