Before we buy everything with a Komen pink ribbon on it, and turn everything pink this month, from our football helmets to our socks, let’s remember to do a little homework about our causes. Charity Navigator has identified hundreds of scams that would appear to be legit charities. Many of our highly touted charities – our “go to” charities when disasters strike our world and we want to help, are in fact, thieves.
For instance, Susan G. Komen only ranks TWO STARS (out of five), yet we lemmings always grab for the product on the shelf with the pink ribbon, which MIGHT appear to imply a portion of that sale goes to breast cancer causes (whatever that means). I know full what it means (and doesn’t), but each of you should also do your homework! By the way, remember also that Susan G. Komen continues to fund Planned Parenthood ($465,000 last year), claiming it goes for “breast cancer screening,” although Cecile Richards (CEO of PP) testified to congress last week that PP doesn’t even own any mammography equipment, and never actually does such screenings. There are much better cancer charities, some of which don’t pay their CEO $209,000, and their founder $481,000 salaries each year, like Komen does.
Nancy G. Brinker promised her dying sister, Susan G. Komen, she would do everything in her power to end breast cancer forever. That hasn’t really happened, but I suppose 14 years of a $481,000 salary (for doing what?) probably lightens her grief. Might explain why they only rate a 70% financial score, shelling out $21 million for administrative expenses and $25 million for fundraising. Perhaps balancing the books requires lots of work and justifies these kinds of salaries; or perhaps not, since they reported a $5 million loss last quarter!
So before you reach for the Cheerios, don the socks for the big race, or heaven forbid, write a check, know exactly where your hard earned cash is headed. You may, in fact, feel Planned Parenthood does some really good things (sic), and if so, feel happy as you watch the videos. But, by all means, be educated.
I think it bugs me a little that for many people, years of “raising awareness” has resulted in little more than cartoon characters, “booby” bumper-stickers and wet T-shirts.
The fact is that it will (not might) affect your family in some significant capacity. But so will autism, PTSD, suicide, alcoholism, prostate cancer, natural disasters, drunk and texting drivers, and so many other calamities. Awareness is good, but not because of funny logos or even lost body parts. But rather, awareness empowers us with life knowledge to seek self help, encourage others to do likewise, and have the empathy to genuinely be present for each other during loss.
Life is calling, are you here?
So please do wear pink this year, and in doing so, remember your aunt and sister-in-law lost to that monster. And most certainly write that charity check every month. But send it to who you actually want to get it.
Highest Rated Charities for Breast Cancer
- Breast Cancer Research Foundation (4 Stars)
- Dana Farber Cancer Institute (not rated, but check them out)
- Sister’s Network (found them through Upworthy)
- The Rose (4 Stars)
- National Breast Cancer Foundation (4 Stars) not American Breast Cancer Foundation (2 Stars)
- Living Beyond Breast Cancer (4 Stars)