Naples, FL – Home Base SWFL, a local non-profit organization founded by the Red Sox Foundation and Massachusetts General Hospital dedicated to supporting veterans, service members and military families impacted by the invisible wounds of war, has teamed up with the Naples Police Department in support of the “Home Base No Shave” campaign.
Fuzzy faces are being sported by more than half of the Naples Police Department to raise mental health awareness and funds in support of local veterans and their families. They are joining other departments from across the country allowing officers to grow out their beards in support of Home Base and their mission to provide no-cost clinical care to veterans and military families.
Funds raised through the campaign will, in part, support Home Base SWFL’s recent expansion and clinical partnership with Lee Health to offer outpatient mental health services for veterans and military families who call Southwest Florida home.
Police departments typically have strict grooming policies where officers must remain clean-shaven. But for the entire month of November, local officers are embracing the “stache” and ditching the razor in exchange for a donation to Home Base SWFL.
Each police officer donated $50 to participate, and the Fraternal Order of Police matched that, bringing the total pledge to $100 per officer for the privilege to forego their grooming policies and grow beards, mustaches and goatees, all in support of Home Base and their mission to provide no-cost clinical care to veterans and military families impacted by post-traumatic stress, traumatic brain injury, depression, co-occurring substance use disorder and family relationship challenges.
More than just collecting cash, the no-razor fundraiser offers a chance for officers to start conversations about Home Base. And, when it comes to providing clinical support for veterans, those conversations can make a huge difference.
“It goes well beyond ‘thank you for your service’ – it’s something tangible people are doing to show them that they care,” said Home Base SWFL Program Director and United States Marine Corps veteran Armando Hernandez. “With officers reaching out into communities, they are bound to know someone who needs help and connect them to us. Every time they do that, they are saving a life.”
To date, the Home Base No Shave campaign has raised more than $500,000 and engaged more than 118 police departments across the country to raise awareness and funds for Home Base.
Naples Police Department Assistant Chief John Barkey said, “Everyone has a role in helping veterans when they return home. Together, we can ensure a smooth transition for our veterans and empower them to connect to world-class care at Home Base. Participating officers have individually pledged to donate and/or fundraise $100 for Home Base SWFL. This is a great way for our community to make an impact, together.”
The Naples Police Department is asking community members, business owners and family members to join the cause and donate online to their Home Base No Shave Campaign at because.massgeneral.org/fundraiser/2458134.
ABOUT HOME BASE: Home Base, a Red Sox Foundation and Massachusetts General Hospital Program, is dedicated to healing the invisible wounds for veterans, service members and their families through world-class clinical care, wellness, education and research. As a National Center of Excellence headquartered in Boston’s Charlestown Navy Yard, Home Base operates the largest private-sector clinic in the nation devoted to healing invisible wounds such as post-traumatic stress disorder, traumatic brain injury, anxiety, depression, co-occurring substance use disorder, military sexual trauma and family relationship challenges.
Since its inception in 2014, Home Base SWFL has leveraged the vast cutting-edge research and expertise in sports medicine and clinical care of the parent program in Boston. With the understanding that veterans do not come home to programs, they come home to communities; Home Base SWFL engages with veterans and service members through community-based initiatives to include a Warrior Health & Fitness Program focused on exercise, wellness and camaraderie. In addition to supervised exercise, participating veterans receive education about healthy eating and living, sleep hygiene, stress management and the health benefits of physical activity.
Home Base SWFL also provides world-class clinical care to veterans through its Outpatient Clinic at Lee Health and through Home Base’s two-week Intensive Clinical Program headquartered in Boston. All services are provided at no cost to veterans, service members and their families, regardless of ability to pay, experience level or discharge status.
To date, Home Base and Home Base SWFL has served more than 21,000 Veterans and Family members with care and support, provided over 74,000 on-line and in-person training sessions to clinicians, educators, first responders and community members nationally, and remains at the forefront of discovering new treatments—ensuring a brighter future for the 21st century warrior and military family. For more information about Home Base SWFL, please visit www.HomeBase.org/SWFL.