October, perhaps the most enjoyable month of the year in our area, is also known as Breast Cancer Awareness Month. You'll see lots of pink merchandise in stores this month indicating a link to a breast cancer charity.
This article is not meant to detract from the honorable, well administered charities but to encourage due diligence in selecting the recipient of funds donated.
All those pink items and the charity behind them are not so charitable in donating a high percentage of profits generated to support awareness, prevention or research to prevent breast cancer.
The following link: http://www.ehow.com/how_2105320_pick-breast-cancer-charity.html, will assist in locating the breast cancer charities channeling the highest percentage of donations to actual clinical applications and research for a cure.
All those pink stationery items, t-shirts, key chains, etc., which lead one to believe they are supporting breast cancer research or providing mammograms to those who have no insurance for such testing are not administered in the best interest of the cancer patient. Some only give as little as 10 -15% of the profit from merchandise for cancer purposes. In the past I have purchased items sporting pink thinking all profit for the month of October was being donated. Now I know better. The public awareness campaigns we see and read only apply to that particular charity when it comes to percentages; they are not blanket statements for all pink charities. Some donate all profits and some do not. Please check out any charity whether breast cancer or other here: http://suite101.com/article/how-to-choose-a-charity-a16867. Use of the words national or American in the charity name can be used by anyone and are not an indication of governmental approval or sanction.
Most of us want to support charities which have in some way benefited someone we know and love. To ensure your hard earned money is spent responsibly always do a bit of research before writing a check. Most of the well known charities such as the American Cancer Society, American Heart Association, St. Jude's Children's Research Hospital, etc., are well run
Anyone can start a charity and they are largely unregulated. Some 'pink' charities fund some local mammograms while the majority of donations go to administrative salaries. A recent article in a national news magazine listed salaries and officers of one charity - officers and board members, most of whom are family, receiving salaries substantially out of proportion to money allocated to actual cancer research or prevention. The IRS provides the charity application which must be completed and submitted. After approval, and few are not approved if the blanks are all completed, a yearly form 990 to the IRS is all that is needed by Uncle Sam. Charities are largely unregulated by any governmental agency.