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Breast Cancer Advocates: Think Before Shopping Pink

A variety of pink products hit the shelves during Breast Cancer Awareness Month. But do your pink purchases always go towards the cause?

Since the beginning of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, a wave of pink has flooded the area. You can find pink ribbon bagels at Panera Bread, pink-ribboned P&G products at Target or send a pink flower arrangement through Emerald City Designs, which ispartnering with The Pink Fund.

But before you plunk down your green for some pink, the nonprofits behind Breast Cancer Awareness Month want you to make sure you know where your money is going.

Jenna Glazer, director of development for Young Survival Coalition (YSC), a global organization dedicated to helping young women who are diagnosed with breast cancer, said that buyers should be on the lookout for a label or tag that tells where the money from the purchase goes.

"If you walk into Bed Bath & Beyond and see something with a pink ribbon and no information about where the money is going, chances are it doesn't benefit the cause," she said.

Glazer said the best way for consumers to ensure that pink products are legit is to visit the non-profit's website for a list of its partners and look at how much money is actually donated to the nonprofit.

And for a group like YSC, which is on the smaller end of the spectrum of breast cancer awareness groups such as Susan G. Komen For the Cure, the check it receives is just part of the benefit. Each time YSC partners with a company, Glazer said, "It raises the profile of nonprofit and gets the word out to the people who need us."

If you think a pink product is suspicious or you are wondering about the relationship between the company and the cause, give the non-profit a call. Representatives are usually happy to verify whether a company is really giving.

"I've actually gotten Google alerts and seen people say they are partnering with us and they aren't," Glazer said, adding that she follows up on those alerts and asks for a check from the retailer that made the claim. Sometimes, she said, retailers were unaware that they needed a contract with YSC and will send along the check happily.

But in some cases, she said, "I never hear back from them."

SHARE: Do you have a favorite pink product? Take a photo and share it here, by clicking the Upload Photos and Videos link above. 

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