It’s October. Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Women, and men, are wearing head-to-toe pink: Pink shirts, pink hats, pink scarves, pink shoes, pink underwear (I assume). You go to your nearest big box store and buy pink cooking pans, pink tools, pink cans of soup. Any and every thing you could want or need is available in baby pink this time of the year. Some products even have a little pink ribbon on them and say “Support Breast Cancer Awareness.” But what does this really mean?
THINK BEFORE YOU PINK! Read the label closely before you put that pink box of cereal in your cart. Sure it has that wonderful phrase “Support Breast Cancer Awareness” on it, but how do they do it? Do they send a portion of their proceeds to respected organizations like Susan G. Komen for the Cure? Do they provide support for employees diagnosed with the terrible disease or who have family members fighting? Or do they simply want you to show your support by just having a pink box of cereal in your pantry? I mean, who’s going to see that special carnation colored box of Fruity O’s? And when your kids pull out that box, are they going to look at it and run out and tell all their neighbors to go get a mammogram? Or will they say “Oh! It’s pink! Pretty! Now where’s the toy inside???”
Now if you were going to buy that cereal anyway, or picked it up because it’s the same price as another brand but they say they donate 2% of sales to Komen for the Cure or something, by all means, please still do. Every little bit helps. But if you’re considering paying $5,000 more for a pink car to show your support… I say slam the brakes on that one! Or, if that pink soup, sneakers, toaster or whatever, isn’t on sale, buy the one that is, take the difference and write a check to Komen or another trustworthy organization. You and the charities would be better off if you donate that money directly to those who need it most. Plus it’s much easier to track a lump sum rather than 2% from some shampoo or 5% from a camera when tax time comes along.
Go on and keep buying those pink watches, water bottles and cups of yogurt. But think about if doing so is really helping to find a cure or care for those battling breast cancer, or helping executives pay for that yacht in the Caribbean.