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Shop Pink in the Canton Area to Benefit Breast Cancer Awareness

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, which means a variety of pink products will be hitting the shelves. But, do your pink purchases always go towards the cause?

A wave of pink is flooding stores everywhere, as retailers participate in Breast Cancer Awareness Month. For the savvy shopper, it's an opportunity to donate to a good cause while snagging unique, pink-hued items.

But before you plunk down your green for some pink, the nonprofits behind Breast Cancer Awareness Month want you to check the label.

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. YSC, which is based in New York City, lists Oakley, Nutra Nail, Liv/giant bikes, Ford and Urban Outfitters as some of its partners.

The amount of money donated to the nonprofit is also key, Glazer said. With YSC's partnership with Oakley, for instance, $20 from each pair of sunglasses goes right to the nonprofit, which offers resources, connections and outreach to young women with breast cancer. 

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."

Canton residents can head over to the Wrentham Village Premium Outlets this month, as local shops there are teaming with Susan G. Komen for the Cure to support breast cancer awareness, outreach, research, and treatment programs in its local community.

During the month of October, shoppers can visit the on-site Information Center to donate $10 to benefit Susan G. Komen for the Cure and then enjoy a rewarding day of shopping at the on-site Premium Outlets Pink Event. For each donation of $10 or more, shoppers will receive a special savings card filled with “25 percent off one single item” offers from Barneys New York Outlet, Bloomingdale’s The Outlet Store, David Yurman, Elie Tahari, Joe’s Jeans, KateSpade New York, Lucky Brand, Polo Ralph Lauren, Ted Baker London,Tommy Hilfiger, Williams-Sonoma Outlet and more.

Donations will be accepted on-site only via cash or credit, with all contributions benefiting the Greater Boston Affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure.

Town Spa in Stoughton will donate ALL proceeds from the sale of its Breast Cancer Awareness T-shirts to the Susan G. Komen for the Cure foundation. You can purchase one online or stop by the restaurant and pick one up in person. Sizes small to 3XL available in pink or white.

And in Foxborough later this month, on Saturday, Oct. 20, have a few drinks at the Waxy O'Connor Irish Pub and Restaurant, listen to great music by "Monkeys with Crayons" and participate in a raffle for great prizes like prime Red Sox Tickets for 2013. Admission to the "Drink Pink for the Cure" event includes a $5 cover and all raffle proceeds benefit Susan G. Komen for the Cure (MA Affiliate). 

Here are a few pink products available online that breast cancer nonprofits are putting their names behind:

  • The Breast Cancer Research Foundation (BCRF) has partnered with Barnes & Noble, which is offering a pink leather Nook cover with a stitched ribbon for about $35, with $5 going to the foundation.
  • Susan G. Komen for the Cure sells its own official merchandise on its website. It has pink leather business card holders for $15 each, as well as candles, coasters, neckties and car accessories.
  • Hard Rock will celebrate its thirteenth season of Pinktober with a variety of merchandise, including a pink honeycomb robe for $80. 75 percent of the profits from each item sold goes to the Caron Keating Foundation.

Some retailers don't enter contracts with nonprofits but still donate a portion of their proceeds. Team Cheer, a website that offers gear for cheerleaders, is donating 5 percent of its pink profits to BCRF. From socks to bows to briefs, the company's Cheer for a Cure collection includes products from $5 to about $25. You won't see it advertised on the BCRF website, but according to foundation staff, Team Cheer has made donations for the past two years.

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: If you have a favorite pink product that benefits Breast Cancer Awareness Month, share it here. Just click the green upload button.

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