October has become synonymous with the color pink – Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
There will be pink Starbucks mugs, pink license plate holders from car dealers, pink shoes, pink scarves, pink shirts and socks. Football players will be wearing pink cleats and arm bands. There will be numerous walks and at every store check-out there will be something that says: “donate to the fight…”, “a percentage of this goes to…” or “support the cause…”.
I have supported and fundraised for a breast cancer cure for over 30 years. I’ve walked the little walks and the big one, 60 miles in three days. I, like millions, have bought the pink stuff each year hoping somehow that the pink pen I purchased will bring about the end of breast cancer. We all buy with incredibly good intentions, but the percentage actually donated from these products is commonly unknown. Does the money really go to an area that is helpful or am I just paying for the stupid pink pen? I’m sure all the pink-washing carried out by vendors this month is meant to be supportive and financially beneficial to the curing of breast cancer. But is it out of control?
I’ve wanted to write this for years and I guess the death of my friend in December just sent me over the pink-washing edge. I’m asking you to consider something before you hand over that pink money.
Please ask yourself the following four things before purchasing another pair of pink socks or a pink pot holder or eat another pink-labeled yogurt.
These points are taken from the site: Think before you Pink
- Does any money from this purchase go to support breast cancer programs? How much?
- What organization will get the money? What will they do with the funds, and how do these programs turn the tide of the breast cancer epidemic?
- Is there a ‘cap’ on the amount the company will donate? Has this maximum donation already been met? Can you tell?
- Does this purchase put you or someone you love at risk for exposure to toxins linked to breast cancer? What is the company doing to ensure that its products are not contributing to the breast cancer epidemic?
I know it’s work, but so is living each day with the diagnosis, the fear and the unknown. It’s easy to pick up that pink candy bar from the cash register or throw that pink t-shirt into your cart at Target. But it only takes a few minutes to think about where your pink money goes. Where’s the best place it could be used? Who will be affected by it and where does it have the most impact?
I found an informative article that includes sites to help you decide the best place to spend that pink money – How Can I Avoid Breast Cancer Charity Scams?
The Think Before You Pink site said it best:
“Consider giving directly to a breast cancer organization
whose work you believe is most essential to addressing
the breast cancer epidemic.”
Breast Cancer —
- Took the life of my dear friend Peggy 14 years ago and last December my friend, Pam. Three months after being diagnosed she passed away leaving her adored husband of 10 years and her 7 year old daughter.
- Tiernne deals with it daily.
- Carrie, Jane, Sharon, Katherine and so many others I know live their amazing lives in the shadow of it.
When we can feel confident that our money is truly being used where it is needed and feel as if we’re actually helping with this epidemic, we might not need to add another pink thing to our collection. October can then return to the colors of Autumn…
Grateful for you,