Dollar for dollar, your contributions to breast cancer awareness and research go farther when you simply write a check to your chosen cause. But there's also something to be said for buying pink merchandise, with a portion of the price going to the cause, since it's a colorful way to communicate your support. Pink stuff is everywhere this month; here's just a sampling of what you'll find, and where the funds go.
TOTING LOVE, HOPE: This fun tote bag combines awareness of breast cancer and the environment. The vinyl from last year's billboards for Hungry Howie's "Love, Hope and Pizza'' campaign were recycled for the body of the bags, and the handles are made from recycled car seat belts and bicycle tire inner tubes.
St. Petersburg's own G2 GreenGear produced the totes and is selling them for $75, with $10 going to the National Breast Cancer Foundation. Call (727) 798-0179 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to order.
The same cause gets a donation every time a large pizza (in a pink box!) is sold at Hungry Howie's, and it also gets $1 when customers purchase Love, Hope & Pizza wristbands, become a new fan or share a breast cancer story on the chain's Facebook page, or send a Tweet using the hashtag #lovehopepizza.
TOP IT OFF: Madcapz are made in the U.S.A. for women by a woman, with touches such as a low-profile fit, adjustable strap, comfy 100 percent cotton and a 2 3/4-inch bill for sun protection. There are plenty of colors and patterns, such as this pink rose petal model ($22). They'd make a nice gift for a woman going through chemotherapy or other treatments that causes hair loss. This month, 20 percent of all online sales go to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation. shop.madcapz.net
m DRIVEN TO HELP: Since 2006, Ford Motor Co.'s Warriors in Pink merchandise sales have netted more than $3 million for Susan G. Komen for the Cure, Dr. Susan Love Research Foundation, the Pink Fund and the Young Survival Coalition. And an unusually large portion of the purchase price goes to the charity. This $45 Sister Hoodie sends a message of solidarity and $22 to the cause. warriorsinpink.ford.com.
BIG AND JUICY GESTURE: Every armchair Christmas shopper knows that a Harry & David fruit basket is a great gift for the friend who has everything. Start the giving early this year with a basket from the "pink pear'' collection, with 25 percent of proceeds going to the Noreen Fraser Foundation, for women's cancer research. This $29.95 gift features five to 10 Royal Riviera pears in an insulated tote bag. harryanddavid.com.
THEY'VE GOT YOU COVERED: Apparently operating on the premise that awareness can never start too early, RuffleButt is sending half the sales price of all its pink woven bloomers this month to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation. This pink ruffled diaper cover is $17 at rufflebutts.com.
AARP the Magazine this month features a story by Dr. Mehmet Oz about the choice many breast cancer patients must make between having a mastectomy or a lumpectomy. Here's a by-the-numbers:
290,170 U.S. women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in 2012
60-75 Percentage of women who opt for lumpectomy over mastectomy
20% At least this many women need a second surgery after lumpectomy
39,510 Number of U.S. women who will die of breast cancer in 2012
2.9MNumber of breast cancer survivors in the United States