October might have you feeling the spooky spirit, but it’s also a chance to be loud about an important cause. When the leaves change, pink hues pop into place around the community in celebration of Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
What is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and Why is it Important?
Aside from skin cancer, breast cancer is the most common cancer diagnosis for American women. About 12% of American women will develop breast cancer in her life. That means that if you can think of eight women in your life, it’s possible that at least one of them will develop breast cancer at some point.
It’s not so easy to pinpoint those at higher risk, either. Breast cancer can be both inherited and occur without any family history. It’s the most commonly diagnosed cancer among Black women, and claims their lives 10% more often than white women. This is partially due to a lack of access to healthcare.
While women as a whole are at a far greater risk, breast cancer also affects men.
While success stories are the hopeful result of a diagnosis, the truth is that over 42,000 people will die of breast cancer this year. Being part of the breast cancer awareness month buzz helps to shed light on the issue, the threat it poses to our community, and a way to promote early screenings. Early detection can often mean treatment advances–two vital elements to reducing the breast cancer’s death toll.
Joining in on Breast Cancer Awareness Month gives you an opportunity to save lives. The opportunity is widespread, giving you plenty of ways to make an impact on the fight for life for so many women.
One of the most engaging and rewarding ways to support a cause is by fundraising. Fundraising genuinely does keep the “fun” in organized events, and often all you need to do is show up and have some spirit.
YouCanThrive is one of the many organizations getting involved in Breast Cancer Awareness Month. The Thrive-a-thon intends to get people up, active, and preaching the good word of the pink ribbon. New York City residents can stop by the booth at Hudson River Park, on 23rd street on Sunday, October 25 (with rain dates slated for October 31 or November 1st) to join in the (COVID-safe) fundraising excitement.
Because of the world’s current predicament, the event is also renting out virtual space to keep the spirit alive from the sanctity of your home.
An $18 registration fee commits you to raising at least $180. Don’t think that aim is for you? A donation of any amount is wholeheartedly welcome.
While we’re on the topic of donations, it’s a good chance to note some of the worthy organizations who put the money to good use.
A donation of $150 provides a potentially life-saving mammogram, which you can gift through the National Breast Cancer Foundation.
Smaller gifts can also serve the cause. By contributing any amount to the NBCF, you’re offering support to programs that directly support women with breast cancer.
Other charities who put your donation to work on resources, health-programs, and advocacy for breast cancer awareness include:
- Susan G Komen, who partnered with Bank of America to triple donation totals throughout October.
- American Cancer Society, who uses donations for everything from research to free support to patients.
By simply retraining your phone to auto-populate “smile.amazon.com” when you shop, a portion of your purchase will go directly to the Amazon-partnered charity of your choosing. Susan G. Komen, NBCF, Dr. Susan Love Foundation for Breast Cancer Research, and plenty of other localized breast cancer foundations are available for you to choose. The hardest part is picking one; then, you do nothing but shop and let Amazon donate on your behalf.
The Dr. Susan Love Foundation is doing something similar. When you shop with these brands–including Saucony, Clean Beauty, and even Panera Bread–during the month of October, part of your purchase will go directly to research.
The bonus for this cause: many of their partners are small businesses who just so happen to be on theme. For instance, Boobies on Things is a small independent store based in California, so you’re also supporting the economic struggle of “the little guy” through these tough times while also calling attention to healthy tatas.
To celebrate doing good, why not have a glass of wine? Might we recommend Melinda’s Rosé? It’s a glass that’s certainly well deserved–100% of these proceeds will be donated to the Dr. Susan Love Foundation.
More awareness leads to more testing, more testing leads to more early detection, and the earlier the detection, the higher probability of beating breast cancer.
The simplest way for you to get involved is to promote breast cancer awareness through what you wear. Shop the merch of a trusted and reputable breast cancer society, and you can inspire your neighborhood while giving money to the cause.
There are plenty of retailers that partner with the cause. When you buy a Hooray for Boobies shirt from B-Unlimited, half of the profits will go straight back to the Dr. Love Foundation.
The American Cancer Society also has featured Breast Cancer Awareness products, from drink bottles and drawstring bags to masks and pullovers.
Of course, wearing these is with the intent to make yourself a beacon of information. If you need a little help preparing your spiel for when questions arise, take a look at the IGoPink informational downloads from The Breast Cancer Charities of America. It offers plenty of valuable, easy-to-digest advice for early screening, resources for understanding breast cancer, and even offers shopping and exercise lists to promote healthy living.
Go the distance
In addition to money, frequent flyers can donate miles for the cause.
You can also donate Delta Miles through SkyWish. This donation will go to funding the trips for researchers to join together and make strides toward eradicating breast cancer.
United, American, and Alaska Airlines all have individualized programs that fit into the Fly to Find A Cure program.
Walk It Out
The American Breast Cancer Society is no stranger to holding pink-painted events in the name of Breast Cancer Awareness. You can jump into the excitement throughout the month of October at various events around New York City.
Some choice highlights include painting Herald Square pink and a Multicultural Music Celebration–but there are plenty of events to check out. There are also ways to fundraise for a team, whether you’re simply a member or decide to lead the charge as the team leader. Don’t forget to dress the part!
How does Volunteering Benefit Your Community?
What makes a volunteer project successful is the energy you bring to it. No matter how you choose to get involved, spreading the word on breast cancer can be just as important to saving lives as raising money.
Take the steps to learning about how breast cancer can affect your community, and offer yourself as a source of light and information for the women (and men!) in your life who need to be aware. Be loud and proud about the good you want to do, and prove you’re a New Yorker who cares. These impassioned efforts to help your neighbors are the every-day superheroes that make New York the diamond that it is.