As we make our way into November, don’t be surprised if your local police officers look like they haven’t shaved in weeks. That’s because 20 police departments across Massachusetts are participating in “No Shave November” to raise funds for Home Base, a Red Sox Foundation and Massachusetts General Hospital Program and their efforts in helping veterans and their families heal from the invisible wounds, such as post-traumatic stress (PTS), traumatic brain injury (TBI), and other service-related issues.
MBTA Transit Police Department (TPD) Officer Kurt Power, an Army Veteran, Purple Heart recipient and former Home Base patient, first shared his idea for a “No Shave November” with Sgt. Mike Flanagan and Supt. Richard Sullivan of the TPD last year. Typically, police departments are strict when it comes to their officers’ appearance, but almost immediately, the department was on board. “Officer Power came to me and explained what ‘No Shave November’ was and about 30 seconds into his explanation, I was sold,” Superintendent Sullivan said.
TPD’s No Shave November raised $15,000 for Home Base in 2015. This year, 21 additional police departments are joining forces with the TBD to raise even more funds for Home Base. “We have police officers from all over the state pledging $100 to not shave for the entire month of November,” said Officer Kurt Power. “This initiative not only raises money for a program that is changing lives for people, but it opens the dialogue and raises awareness of the invisible wounds affecting military families nationwide.”
For Power, choosing Home Base as the beneficiary of “No Shave November” was an easy choice. “My life has personally been affected by Home Base. It’s one of the greatest things I’ve ever done in my life and I wanted to do something to give back.”
Power’s involvement with Home Base shed light of the organization for the entire TPD. Following his treatment, Sgt. Flanagan saw Power’s transformation, describing him as more grounded, more focused, and healthier. “Kurt’s participation at Home Base really brought to light the great things the program does and it really sparked interest from the department,” Sgt. Flanagan said. “We support the program because we’ve seen the great things it’s done for the people who work here and other police departments as well.”
Supt. Sullivan agrees, “If we can reach at least one other Veteran who’s suffering from the same issues that Kurt dealt with, it’s all worth it. The courage and bravery he showed in standing up and saying, ‘I need help,’ is tremendous.”
Even after “No Shave November” ends, the TPD makes it a priority to keep an open doalogue around Home Base by proudly displaying last year’s $15,000 check in the TPD lobby. “When I walk in the station and see that big check for Home Base I feel a great source of pride,” said Sgt. Flanagan. “People aren’t typically going to say, ‘you know what? I think I’m going to donate some money today.’ But when you tell them their donation helps Veterans with TBI and PTS, they’re much more apt to reach into their pocket and say, ‘sure, of course.’”
The tremendous support the TPD and Officer Power have received from the event are not lost on him. “It’s really a great honor to see all the support, not only in the department, but throughout the entire law enforcement community in general.”
This year, the following police departments are participating in No Shave November in support of Home Base:
- MBTA Transit PD
- Reading PD
- Tewksbury PD
- Boston PD
- Framingham PD
- Watertown PD
- Foxborough PD
- Northeastern University PD
- Bedford PD
- Winchester PD
- Milford PD
- Bridgewater State University PD
- Ayer PD
- Manchester by the Sea PD
- Maynard PD
- Rochester PD
- Barnstable PD
- Boston University PD
- Boston College PD
- Hamden PD
- Templeton PD
If you’d like to donate to Home Base, please click here.
Inspired to host your own fundraising event to support Home Base? Please click here.