SOUTH DEERFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Buying an item with the famous breast cancer awareness pink ribbon on it might not be going to the cause you want to support. Some of those items you buy to support breast cancer awareness might not be donating any money to cancer programs.
The Better Business Bureau warns consumers that the recognizable symbol is not regulated by any agency. It’s called “pinkwashing”, where someone takes the famous breast cancer awareness pink ribbon, and puts it on items, saying the proceeds will go to cancer programs. Instead, the money goes elsewhere.
One local group in Western Massachusetts, Rays of Hope, has created their own trademark to make sure this “pinkwashing” doesn’t happen. They follow every dollar that is donated to their foundation to make sure it benefits someone who has been diagnosed with breast cancer. Chairwoman Michelle Shattuck of Rays of Hope told 22News, “We oversee those funds, and we allocate them accordingly, and we make sure everything goes in the appropriate areas.”
Some products display the pink ribbon just to show support. The Better Business Bureau says while most pink ribbon labels are NOT schemes, you should do some research. Check where the money is going, and how much will be donated.
“I think there is with anything in life a downside to things,” says Shattuck, “but I also think there’s a lot of positive. I think for people like me, who might be a breast cancer survivor and they just want to raise money, I think they do it with a positive intent.”
You can see if they’re trustworthy by Confirming a charity’s corporate partners and sponsors.
Rays of Hope is hosting the 22nd annual Rays of Hope: Run Toward the Cure 8K walk in Springfield’s Forest Park, on Sunday, October 25th. Registration begins at 7:30 a.m.
Click here to learn more about Rays of Hope at Baystate Health.