Think pink means charity? Think twice

October 19, 2010 3:44:56 PM PDT
October is Breast Cancer Awareness month, which is one reason why you are seeing pink products all over the place. The idea is that companies give a portion of the proceeds to charity, but not all donations are the same. From grocery store promotions to bubble wrap, you can find all sorts of pink colored products on the store shelves right now, but the Better Business Bureau says don't let pink cloud your judgment.

Buying steak to support breast cancer research? Randall's grocery store is making that offer. As long as consumers buy $30 of qualifying products, the store will donate $5 to breast cancer research. The Better Business Bureau says before going pink, be sure of the donation details.

Leak Napoliello with the Houston BBB explained, "The percentage of the sales that goes to breast cancer varies greatly. There is no set amount, that depending on the company and product, it can be very different."

Napoliello says some pink promotional products give consumers no clue as to how much is donated or where the donations are going.

"A consumer should really do their research and look the packaging very carefully to make sure that a company is giving a certain amount they approve of to a charity," she advised.

The BBB says stay away from products if you can't find basic information about a donation. We found the maker of an exercise armband gives five percent of the all sales to breast cancer charities, but that's not always the case.

Bic caps its donation from pink pens at $300,000, and Duck brand bubble wrap caps its breast cancer donation at $75,000. Some envelopes say a portion will be donated, but not how much.

Dr. Adriana Higgins, Executive Director of the Susan G. Komen Foundation in Houston, said, "You have to educate yourself to know exactly what in the community is being supported and how they are being supported."

Dr. Higgins says when it comes to products sporting a Susan G. Komen ribbon, the money goes to charity.

She said, "Seventy-five percent of what is being spent, what the organization is receiving, particularly the Houston affiliate, is going toward the community here in Houston."

If you cannot find the donation information on a product, go to the company's website. If you cannot find it there, call the company and ask.


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