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.
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."
Here are some other ways that you can help donate to the cause in the Virginia-Highland/Druid Hills area:
- Van Michael Salon and the Pink Heals Foundation bring back their Breast Cancer Awareness partnership with the “Blow Out To End Breast Cancer” campaign. During October, clients may choose from a menu of premium blow dry styles with a $5 donation to Pink Heals Foundation.
- Monday is the last day to treat yourself to 53 percent savings on an Ultimate Wash at the Cactus Car Wash location at 575 Ponce de Leon Ave. Normally a $29.95 value, purchase it here for just $14 and 25 percent of all proceeds will benefit Komen Atlanta.
- J. Christopher’s in Midtown and Decatur will donate $1 from every order of pumpkin pancakes and .50 from every pumpkin latte sold in October to Komen Atlanta.
- Through Oct. 27, Kroger customers may purchase pink paper ribbons for $1 at the checkout with the sales benefiting Susan G. Komen for the Cure.
- Crossfit East Decatur will be hold a free Pink Bra Tour stop Oct. 24 from 5-9 p.m. There will be a lifting competition, food and beverage and raffles. Crossfit East Decatur is at 185 Laredo Drive.
- MudFire Gallery in Decatur will hold a Mugs for Jugs, an exhibition and sale of handmade ceramic mugs to raise money for breast cancer research. The gallery is at 175 Laredo Drive.
- Caribou Coffee has a special coffee blend this month called “Amy’s Blend” after their original roastmaster. Ten percent of the proceeds go to Cancercare. The nearest locations are at 10th & Piedmont and North Druid Hills Road.
- The Wrecking Bar Brewpub in Inman Park will be pouring Boobie Beer - a pomegranate hibiscus wheat beer that aims to have you thinking - and drinking - pink. A portion of the proceeds will be donated to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.
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 or know of a local special that benefits Breast Cancer Awareness Month, let us know in the comments area below this article.