Every October, countries across the world observe Breast Cancer Awareness Month to increase support and awareness of this disease. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), breast cancer is the second most common cancer among U.S. women. In Texas alone, nearly 17,000 new cases of breast cancer were reported in 2017.
Yet, the World Health Organization (WHO) does offer some promising data, showing the probability of cancer deaths decreasing steadily from 2000 to 2015. While this downward trend is expected to continue through 2030, there is still no cure, and funds are needed to advance research efforts.
There are countless ways to contribute, and consumers help raise millions of dollars for breast cancer research each year, often by purchasing “pink ribbon” items. However, people should exercise caution when they give to ensure their money is being used as advertised. Use these tips from BBB’s Wise Giving Alliance before you donate:
• Shop smart. Some companies donate proceeds from sales of specific items, designated with pink ribbons or packaging. When shopping for “pink ribbon” items, see if the promotion is transparent about how the donation will be used, which charity it will benefit and how much of the purchase will be donated. Watch out for vague claims of proceeds benefiting unspecified charities.
• Check the charity. Charities accredited with BBB’s Wise Giving Alliance meet the 20 BBB Charity Standards. If you are working with a new charity, go to Give.org to view its charity report or find trustworthy organizations to donate to. When researching a charity, pay close attention to its name, as illegitimate charities may use names similar to those of established organizations.
• Participate carefully. Some charities host fundraising events in addition to marketing promotions. If this interests you, gather all the important information before signing up. Is there a participation fee or are you required to sign up a minimum number of sponsors? Always research the charity or group organizing the event before you register.
• Take action. If your preferred charity is not holding any events or promotions during Breast Cancer Awareness Month, contact them directly to see how you can volunteer or donate on your own time. Every contribution helps!