By: Ray Anne Evans, Executive Director of Breast Cancer Resource Centers.
Today marks the beginning of another October, a month that is busy, busy, busy for breast cancer organizations including the Breast Cancer Resource Center. Most nonprofits with a focus in breast cancer use the month of October to raise money. Everywhere you go there are companies selling items that are pink or that have pink ribbons, encouraging awareness and offering everyone a chance to provide a donation to a variety of breast cancer charities. There’s pink paper at the office supply store, pink coffee cups at the donut shop, pink plastic containers at the grocery store. Shortly after I was diagnosed, I bought many of those items, proud to show that I was a survivor and happy to be able to donate to a variety of charities at the same time.
Years later, as I became involved with the BCRC, I began asking questions like: What nonprofit was benefitting from the purchase? How much was being donated because of my purchase? What was the money I gave going to support? Was I supporting research? Mammograms? Was the organization I supported through my donation one that I endorsed personally? Were they known for following through with their mission in a cost effective way? I was always surprised and saddened that the people I asked at the store didn’t always know where the donation was going or how it would be used. I still ask, and still find that many times retailers can’t always answer my questions.
This year, I encourage you to be purposeful with your purchases and to consider the impact your dollars can have in your own community. Buy yourself or your loved one the pink item that you find and then turn around and donate the same amount to the BCRC. When you donate to BCRC, I assure you that the dollars you donate will provide direct services to help people right here when they need it most. Your donation may help fund 6 weeks of peer-to-peer support for women who have been newly diagnosed, provide a mammogram to a woman with a lump but no insurance, or allow a navigator to go with a frightened woman to her first chemo infusion ……the list is long, but I promise you, it will be spent to ensure that a woman facing breast cancer in Central Texas will not go through her experience alone. Rather, you can ensure she’ll have a compassionate mentor standing beside her, hearing her concerns, honoring her choices and providing her a community that understands. On behalf of the BCRC staff and board of directors, thank you for continuous support, not only in the month of October, but also throughout the rest of year.
This October BCRC invites you to take the online #locallypink pledge by matching the cost of a pink product with a direct donation to BCRC, knowing 100% of your gift will stay here – locally – to provide breast cancer services and programs to the women in our community who need them, free-of-charge. To learn more about how you can involved, visit www.locallypinkbcrc.org!