Nik Halldorson raised over $2,000 through his Beards for Bryony fundraiser in just eleven days. Halldorson, a fourth-year nursing student at Dalhousie University, has been growing his beard for seven months and decided to make shaving it off mean something.
“I’ve done some fundraising in the past,” said Halldorson, who raised over $3000 for the YMCA during his high school years, and was an active participant in Dal’s For the Health Of It show.
“I decided that I was going to set a goal and shave it off when I reached it,” he added. “Hair will grow back and this is raising awareness.”
When he initially decided to raise the money, he didn’t know what he wanted to donate it to.
“One of my friends brought up the idea of donating to a women’s shelter,” he said. “Bryony House is the only shelter here that is specific to women who are trying to escape intimate partner abuse, often with their children.”
Halldorson decided this would be the perfect place to send the money.
Halldorson originally set a goal of raising $1000 within a month, but quickly realized he could raise much more. His original goal was met in just eight days.
“If you look at the stats, more than half of Canadians have known someone who was abused or needed to go to a shelter,” he says.
“People really relate to this cause, and it’s definitely in the public’s mind right now.”
Halldorson will be working with Bryony House to help put the money where it is really needed. He has set a new goal of $5,000, but would love to go higher.
“People really seem to be resonating with it. I would love to find a business or corporation to match the donations.”
Halldorson has teamed up with Sailor Bup’s Barbershop and will be hosting a shave-off once he reaches his new goal. Further incentive for donating: anyone who donates $200 gets the right to shave half his beard off, and donations of $20 or $50 will get you beard-inspired holiday cards.
Although support from the community has been overwhelming, Halldorson noticed there have been more women donating than men.
“I guess that speaks to the fact that men maybe aren’t as aware as they should be,” he said. “One of the biggest things I’m trying to do is raise awareness of the fact that this is a man’s issue as much as it is a women’s.”