October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. One in 9 women will develop breast cancer in their lifetimes. Scary, when you think about the population of the world, some 1.5 BILLION people are at risk for breast cancer simply based on their chromosomes. One little fact that isn’t often remembered is that men can get breast cancer, too. It happens less, but it’s still possible - about one in 1,000. Before you just go out and buy some pink stuff, make sure that the proceeds from what you’re buying will actually be donated to breast cancer research. Unless, of course, you just really like the color pink.

Here’s a list of some of the companies who specifically donate money to breast cancer research, and products you can buy to support their research efforts:

  • Macy’s: In addition to other socially responsible acts and corporate giving, Macy’s is partnered with the Pink Pony Fund. During this campaign, at least 25% of the purchase price of any Ralph Lauren Pink Pony item will help support the Pink Pony Fund of the Ralph Lauren Foundation. This fund is dedicated to reducing disparities in cancer care. In fiscal year 2015, Macy’s raised $1.6 million dollars for this fund.
  • Microsoft: There isn’t a whole list of charities to which Microsoft donates, but let me tell you a little bit about their corporate giving policy. I’ve got friends who work at our local Microsoft office, and they tell me that Microsoft matches every dollar that they donate to whichever charity the employee chooses. They’ll also match volunteer hours with monetary donations. You know what’s even greater? Microsoft doesn’t match a small amount. They match up to $15,000 annually PER EMPLOYEE. In 2015, Microsoft employees raised $125 million dollars for 18,000 schools and nonprofits. Philanthropy is one of the cornerstones of the Microsoft experience for employees of this socially responsible company.
  • Avon: Through the Avon Foundation for Women, $800 million has been donated to the Avon Breast Cancer Crusade. A percentage of the purchase price of any of these items will be donated to Avon’s Breast Cancer Crusade and may be donated to research, or education, or even mobile mammograms for women in need. This jewelry is my personal favorite. Way to go, Avon.

Those are just a few companies that actively – and transparently – donate money to breast cancer research. That doesn’t mean that other brands aren’t socially responsible, though. Hanes Brands International, the parent company of Champion Athleticwear, OneHanesPlace, and Just My Size donate money and facilities to their employees all over the world so they can have access to healthcare.

The Limited is partnered with St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in the fight against childhood cancers. Maybe you’ve heard of St. Jude? They’re ranked at #4 in the country by U.S. News & World Report for children’s hospitals, and also ranked #1 (yes, #1) for cancer specialty. They do ground-breaking research there and help kids with cancer not only survive, but thrive.

If you want to know how socially responsible a particular company is, there’s usually something on their website under “Press” or “About Us” or even “Corporate Giving”. If you can’t find it, try Googling it. That’s how I found out about Omaha Steaks and their Steaks for Good campaigns.

It bears repeating that even if your life hasn’t been touched by breast cancer – or if you’re even luckier, cancer of any kind – the person next to you has been. There’s a genetic component. If you carry either the BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene mutation, you’re absolutely more likely to get breast cancer in your lifetime regardless of your sex. Cancer is a huge deal, and though you might think it’s narrow to donate to a cause that’s looking at a specific type of cancer, it’s clear that research in any area could lead to a breakthrough that could affect all types of cancer. Consider a donation to the American Cancer Society if you want to fund research into cancer, and you don’t care which type, or The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society if blood cancer research interests you. Those are just two of the cancer organizations PointShop is proud to support with its donations.

Posted: Tuesday, October 04, 2016