CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Officers from nearly 10 law enforcement agencies across West Virginia shaved their beards Thursday in connection with a fundraiser to help victims of child abuse.

The fundraiser, “No Shave for the Brave,” requires law enforcement officers and other supporters to stop shaving for the month of November. The West Virginia Child Advocacy Network asks those who participate to donate $25 to support their local Child Advocacy Center.

“The money raised will go toward child victims of abuse to help them in their journey of healing with all of the Child Advocacy Centers across the state. This year a lone we saw almost 4,000 children,” said Stacy Deel, awareness and development specialist for WVCAN.

The campaign started in the Eastern Panhandle with the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office. Because of high success rates, Deel said they decided to expand the fundraiser to law enforcement agencies statewide.

“This is a good fundraiser to involved law enforcement who are an integral part of our teams and to celebrate the partnership with all of our CAC supporters,” she said.

Deputies from the Kanawha County Sheriff’s Office were at the Tops Off Barber Shop & Salon in Charleston Thursday morning to get a clean shave. Sgt. Brian Humphreys participated and said these partnerships are important.

“It’s all for a good cause,” Humphreys said. “We have to constantly work with other organizations — those in government and those outside of government. Some of those organizations need some extra funding, so if we can help draw attention to that and get some dollars towards that then that always helps us out and it helps public safety.”

More than $1,000 was collected from nearly 80 officers and other supporters alone in Kanawha County.

Over the last five years, CACs statewide have seen a nearly 66 percent increase in the amount of children they’ve served. About 34 percent of the children served by CACs were under the age of six. Most children, about 62 percent, were being served because of sexual abuse allegations.

Donations are still being accepted for the “No Shave for the Brave” fundraiser. To make a contribution, visit wvcan.org/donate.

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