Instagram is a beautiful place where you have the opportunity to meet beautiful people with even more beautiful stories. This month I wanted to highlight one of those beautiful people,
Jess Colgan- Snyder with #StacheForCash (a fundraiser that I am sure you'll fall in love with). I had the opportunity to speak with her and ask a few questions. Here is what she had to say.
Hey there, can you tell us who you are and what you do? My name is Jess, I’m 37 years old, I live in Delaware and I’m the Assistant Director of Camp Hawkeye, an overnight camp focused on diversity, inclusion, and connection with nature. We break down stereotypes and stigmas through play. I believe in supporting all youth and providing opportunities to all kids to enrich their lives regardless of financial status.
Why is #StacheForCash so important to you? This fundraiser is important to me because I missed out on the opportunity to go to camp as a kid because my family couldn’t afford it. Kids miss out on life changing experience because of their family’s financial situation, and I don’t believe they should. All kids deserve the opportunity to go to sleep away camp.
How long have you been involved in this fundraiser? This will be my 11th year participating in the fundraiser.
What has/have been your biggest struggle(s) while participating in #StacheForCash? People stigmatizing that kids who don’t have money to go to camp shouldn’t go to camp. People being cruel to me when they see I’m wearing a tattoo mustache- People have yelled things like “You stupid dyke go kill yourself.” Someone through a banana at me once. An older woman thought I was making fun of women with facial hair. A person asked me “Are you one of those tranies?” With Covid it’s been having to wear a mask and so not as many people seeing my mustache and knowing what I’m doing.
What has been the most rewarding part of this #StacheForCash? Watching kid’s faces when I tell them I’ve reached my fundraising goal to help provide their scholarship so they can attend camp. Meeting people whose lives have been positively changed because of camp and make a donation.
Being followed by a group of young teens on skateboards who thought I must be a celebrity wearing a mustache.
This whole thing is a HUGE social experiment about how people react.
How can others get involved? People can post a picture of themselves with a mustache, it can be any creative way they want. Tell people that they are trying to help send a child to camp and ask for a donation. https://gofund.me/e3265b42 is the link to the Go Fund Me Page. People can also just share one of my posts from instagram.com/jcs_stache and tell their friends that I am committed to this every day and ask them to support me. Sharing what I’m doing and getting the word out is important, I truly believe that many hands make light work.
Is there anything else you want to share?
We all have opportunities to impact someone’s life. I believe it is our obligation as adults to help provide the best foundation for kids as possible. I have gained tremendous insight into human behavior by wearing a mustache for 30 days every April to support kids going to camp. I’ve seen the best and worst in adults. I will continue to wear a mustache every year in April to raise money to help kids who otherwise wouldn’t be able to afford attend camp. To be able to see the kid’s thrive at camp, make friends, learn skills, come back summer after summer and be their most happy and authentic self is the best thing ever.
I have some videos from previous years here.
Now that you know the why, are you willing to take on the challenge to help send a child to Camp Hawkeye? Post pictures in your mustache with the hashtag #StacheForCash and I will post you on instagram.com/iamreneewatkins and https://www.tiktok.com/@reneewatkinsagain