During the month of October, I challenge us all to do something concrete to help the fight against breast cancer. If you know someone currently fighting breast cancer, I further challenge you to do something specific to help her or him. A lot of us are wearing pink to show our support, and that's great, but I think that volunteering and connecting one on one with people would be even more meaningful. You could volunteer through an established charity, or, if you know someone personally fighting breast cancer, you could help them by doing chores, making meals for or providing transportation and going with a friend to treatment. Sometimes, just having a friend come and visit and really listen (without judgment of any kind) can be the best gift you can give a person with breast cancer.
I have mixed feelings about all the pink products on the market. I'm all for raising awareness and personally love pink. I give kudos to the companies whose pink products donate 100% of the profits from their pink products to breast cancer awareness. That's fantastic! But the companies who charge outrageous prices for their pink products and then only donate a tiny percentage of the profits seem like they're more about capitalizing on the disease than really helping people. I like to check and see what percentage is actually being donated before I make a purchase. In many cases, the cause might be better served if the money were directly donated to a responsible charity.
As I mentioned above, actually providing one on one assistance or support might be the most meaningful thing you can do (and it's needed all year - not just in October). If you have even just one four hour block of time free a month, the American Cancer Society's Road to Recovery program might be a great way for you to provide such assistance. They match volunteers with cancer patients in need of transportation to their treatments. Visit here or call 1-800-227-2345 to find out more. You can also check with your local church, volunteer referral organization or hospital to see if there's a way you can help.