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Shop Pink in the Lehigh Valley 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 toward 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.

Bethlehem firefighters are once again selling pink T-shirts to raise money for cancer research in general, says Brian Padilla, a city firefighter who is leading the effort. Proceeds benefit the St. Luke’s Hospital Cancer Research Center.

This year, the firefighters are selling both short-sleeved and long-sleeved shirts, in a brighter pink than last year, for $10 to $15. The shirts are available at Remmel Opticians in Bethlehem, as well as all four locations of MP Uniform & Supply Co., including stores at 2733 W. Emmaus Ave., Allentown, and 2109 Freemansburg Ave., Bethlehem. You can also email at bfdpink@aol.com.

Of course, 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 the nonprofit and gets the word out to the people who need us."

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

  • The Breast Cancer Research Foundation 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 13th season of Pinktober with a variety of merchandise, including a pink honeycomb robe for $80. Seventy-five 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 nonprofit 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.

Dr Vinny Boombots October 11, 2012 at 05:12 PM
they should be raising money for research not awareness, i think everyone is aware of breast cancer
Use your head October 11, 2012 at 07:40 PM
You obviously didn't know that the money goes towards research and better equipment to help fight breast cancer. I'm going to start a fundraiser so people are aware of assholes like you.
Yertle1 October 12, 2012 at 12:08 AM
The YSC says they help young women that are diagnosed with Breast Cancer. Do they also help men that are diagnosed with Breast Cancer?

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