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Shop Pink in Montco to Benefit Breast Cancer Awareness

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, which means a variety of pink products will be hitting the shelves. But, do your pink purchases always go towards the cause?

A wave of pink is flooding stores everywhere, as retailers participate in Breast Cancer Awareness Month. For the savvy shopper, it's an opportunity to donate to a good cause while snagging unique, pink-hued items.

Panera Bread sells Pink Ribbon Bagels throughout October, made with
cherry chips, dried cherries and cranberries, vanilla, honey and brown sugar. A portion of the proceeds from Pink Ribbon Bagels is donated to breast cancer charities.

Macy's Pink Shop has a plethora of pink items, incuding clothing, nailpolish, men's ties, makeup, jewelry, tweezers, pillows, even KitchenAid and Cuisinart kitchen electrics. Each purchase of a participating item funds awareness, research and education in the fight against breast cancer.

Pennsylvania snack maker Martin's Potato Chips sells 9-ounce pink bags of their kettle-cooked chips, with proceeds going to the Pennsylvania Breast Cancer Coalition. In 2011, Martin's more than $27,000 with this "Martin's Chips In for a Cure" campaign.

Dick's Sporting Goods offers Pink Ribbon merchandise from NorthFace, Nike, UnderArmour, Columbia, Wilson, Reebok and others. Purchase these items to support breast cancer research. Additionally, Dick's is donating $250,000 to the National Breast Cancer Foundation.

But before you plunk down your green for some pink, the nonprofits behind Breast Cancer Awareness Month want you to check the label.

Jenna Glazer, director of development for Young Survival Coalition (YSC), a global organization dedicated to helping young women who are diagnosed with breast cancer, said that buyers should be on the lookout for a label or tag that tells where the money from the purchase goes.

"If you walk into Bed Bath & Beyond and see something with a pink ribbon and no information about where the money is going, chances are it doesn't benefit the cause," she said.

Glazer said the best way for consumers to ensure that pink products are legit is to visit the non-profit's website for a list of its partners. YSC, which is based in New York City, lists Oakley, Nutra Nail, Liv/giant bikes, Ford and Urban Outfitters as some of its partners.

The amount of money donated to the nonprofit is also key, Glazer said. With YSC's partnership with Oakley, for instance, $20 from each pair of sunglasses goes right to the nonprofit, which offers resources, connections and outreach to young women with breast cancer. 

And for a group like YSC, which is on the smaller end of the spectrum of breast cancer awareness groups such as Susan G. Komen For the Cure, the check it receives is just part of the benefit. Each time YSC partners with a company, Glazer said, "It raises the profile of nonprofit and gets the word out to the people who need us."

Local shops where you can speak to the owner are another option. In Ambler, Main Street Vintage, has pink hats, ribbons, jewelry, headbands and more. The store recently donated the proceeds from its sales on Oct. 5 to breast cancer awareness.

Here are a few pink products available online that breast cancer nonprofits are putting their names behind:

  • The Breast Cancer Research Foundation (BCRF) has partnered with Barnes & Noble, which is offering a pink leather Nook cover with a stitched ribbon for about $35, with $5 going to the foundation.
  • Susan G. Komen for the Cure sells its own official merchandise on its website. It has pink leather business card holders for $15 each, as well as candles, coasters, neckties and car accessories.
  • Hard Rock will celebrate its thirteenth season of Pinktober with a variety of merchandise, including a pink honeycomb robe for $80. 75 percent of the profits from each item sold goes to the Caron Keating Foundation.

Some retailers don't enter contracts with nonprofits but still donate a portion of their proceeds. Team Cheer, a website that offers gear for cheerleaders, is donating 5 percent of its pink profits to BCRF. From socks to bows to briefs, the company's Cheer for a Cure collection includes products from $5 to about $25. You won't see it advertised on the BCRF website, but according to foundation staff, Team Cheer has made donations for the past two years.

If you think a pink product is suspicious or you are wondering about the relationship between the company and the cause, give the non-profit a call. Representatives are usually happy to verify whether a company is really giving.

"I've actually gotten Google alerts and seen people say they are partnering with us and they aren't," Glazer said, adding that she follows up on those alerts and asks for a check from the retailer that made the claim. Sometimes, she said, retailers were unaware that they needed a contract with YSC and will send along the check happily.

But in some cases, she said, "I never hear back from them."

SHARE: If you have a favorite pink product that benefits Breast Cancer Awareness Month, share it here. Just click the green upload button.

SMYRNA-X October 10, 2012 at 09:15 PM
October breast cancer awareness is a multi- billion dollar scam. Breast cancer is horrific and I do wish survivors and families the best possible outcomes. But breast cancer deaths have gone down a fraction in 20 years. Read Marie Claire--The big business of breast cancer.
Bill October 11, 2012 at 04:54 AM
Susan Komen causes Cancer. The pink ribbon fund gives your donated money to Planned Parenthood. You money is causing cancer and killing babies. Planned Parenthood had received about $700,000 annually from Komen to pay for breast examinations and provide access to mammograms for poor women. http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/02/02/us-usa-healthcare-komen-idUSTRE8111WA20120202 After Lying About Providing Mammograms, Planned Parenthood Outraged That Breast Cancer Charity Cuts Off Grants, Kormen then back tracks and continues funding Planned Parenthood http://www.weeklystandard.com/blogs/after-lying-about-providing-mammograms-planned-parenthood-outraged-breast-cancer-charity-cuts-grants_620875.html con't
Bill October 11, 2012 at 04:56 AM
According to Planned Parenthood, of this taxpayer funding, about $70 million comes through the federal government’s Title X funding – providing free birth control (including to minors). The Pill - The World Health Organization's acknowledgement that oral contraceptives and hormone replacement therapy containing estrogen and progestin are "Group 1 carcinogens." (Press Release #167, July 29, 2005); Other Group I carcinogen • Hepatitis B virus (chronic infection with) • Hepatitis C virus (chronic infection with) • Mustard gas (Sulfur mustard) • Asbestos • Neutron radiation • Radium-228 and its decay products • Radon-222 • Solar radiation • Ultraviolet Radiation • X-Radiation and Gamma radiation
Bill October 11, 2012 at 05:01 AM
Over 50 million abortions in America since legalization. According to Planned Parenthood’s own apologist, Media Matters, its “total revenue from abortion services was approximately $164,154,000,” a year. Accordingly, over 51 percent of Planned Parenthood’s clinic income comes from abortion. http://www.lifenews.com/2012/09/05/media-hides-fact-planned-parenthood-does-40-of-abortions/ Seventy-two epidemiological studies have been conducted since 1957; and 80% of these studies have shown that abortion increases the risk of breast cancer http://www.abortionbreastcancer.com/The_Link.htm Please do not support the Kormen Fund

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