I never really gave much thought to where my “donated funds from purchase” were going prior to being diagnosed with breast cancer, actually if we are being honest I didn’t give a crap where they were going last year either, however, this year I am in a much better emotional state and would like to inform and bring awareness to something called “PinkWashing”.
PinkWashing is defined as a practice in which companies use support of breast cancer related charities to promote itself and its products without really giving much information into where those “donated funds with purchase” are going. Sometimes they don’t even put that they plan on donating anything they just throw a pink ribbon on their product and people buy it assuming proceeds from their purchase will make a difference. **Go to www.thinkbeforeyoupink.org to learn more about pinkwashing.
Now unlike so many women I have met and interacted with since my diagnosis I’m not against pink ribbons or bringing awareness to this awful disease by giving it it’s month in the spotlight. What I am against is when my money, or my friends and families money, isn’t being used to actually do anything to help survivors. I mean what about finding an actual cure for metastatic breast cancer? What about those women diagnosed with triple negative breast cancer? What about support foundations that can help me and my family after I’m all done with chemo? What about further research into why more and more young women are developing breast cancer, since our chances of reoccurrence are so much higher?These are things that your hard earned money should be going towards, not some corporate executives pocket or some huge foundation that may have lost its original focus.
Instead of putting your money into large foundations like Susan B Koman or American Breast Cancer Foundation, find a local survivor who could use your support and give to them directly. You don’t even need to give them money. Simple acts of service such as, offering to watch their children so her and her spouse can go on a date, offering to make them a meal once a week/month so that they can just relax and enjoy family time, or even just offering to spend quality time with them chatting about something other than cancer. It’s those little things that make a major impact on these women’s lives. And maybe they could use monetary support, so setup a gofundme.com page or hold a bake sale, just put your time, effort and money into something that is actually going to make a positive impact in a survivor’s life.
Now if you want to give to foundations I have some favorites that have either impacted me personally or have impacted women I have met while on this journey:
- Pink Sistas – foundation that holds retreats for women in the PNW who have either already completed treatment or are going through treatment – visit www.pinksistas.com for more information.
- Young Survival Coalition – this organization is dedicated to offering resources, connections and outreach to women who are diagnosed with breast cancer – visit www.youngsurvival.org for more information.
- Living Beyond Breast Cancer– this organization does so much in the ways of breast cancer education and helping newly diagnosed and those living with this disease get trusted information, I frequented their website in the first month after my diagnosis – visit www.lbbc.org for more information.
- Metavivor – this is the only US organization that provides 100% of proceeds directly to Stage IV Metastatic Breast Cancer – visit www.metavivor.org for more information.
- Fighting Pretty – which is located in my home state, gives “Pretty Packages” to women which are intended to empower women battling cancer to feel strong, beautiful and fierce, something that I hold very near to my heart even though I am just hearing about them – visit www.fightingpretty.org for more information.
I’m not asking that people stop buying items with pink ribbons, but be aware that your money may not be going to where you expect it to go or having an impact on the survivors you might know in your life. If you want to give I recommend you always go directly to the foundations website and give via their DONATE applications. These are always tax deductible and you’ll have the peace of mind that every cent you give is actually going to a foundation making strides to kick this diseases ass!