It seems you can't walk into a grocery or other business nowadays without being solicited for a worthy cause. There is a fine line between appropriateness, sincere support and an inexpensive PR tactic, but that's a topic for another time.
As the designated "Breast Cancer Awareness Month," October tends to be particularly fervent for fundraising. On the one hand, as a woman I feel intensely and immensely supportive of this cause. Breast cancer affects one out of every eight women, and in the US, breast cancer deaths are second only to lung cancer. On the other hand, a recent article in the Huffington Post raises the issue of "pinkwashing" associated with corporate partnerships, as examined in the documentary "Pink Ribbons, Inc."
Nevertheless raising awareness for early detection is supremely important, and my concern over saving women's lives trumps the superficiality of our super saturated marketing environment. But I'm also one of those people who likes to know exactly where my money goes when I donate, and prefers that it stays in my community.
The San Mateo County Health Foundation offers a wonderful opportunity to meet all of these criteria. "The Underwire Project" seeks to raise $750,000 (to be matched) for two digital mammography machines for the San Mateo Medical Center. The Center has identified over 6500 patients over 40 who have not had a breast screening or mammogram within the last two years. At the same time, the San Mateo Medical Center is currently providing 5,500 women annually with mammograms. Yet the Center is the only hospital in San Mateo County without digital mammography and in the 10% of all public hospitals in California that doesn't have digital mammography.
The new digital machines will reduce the current 45-90 day waiting period by half, and provide many women with access to the technology that will offer them the greatest chance of surviving due to early detection.
You can help by attending the Foundation's cocktail reception event this Thursday, Oct. 25th from 5:00pm-7:30pm at the San Mateo Medical Center. Admission is Free, and the first 300 donations will receive a TRINA TURK "Spend Me" card. Please RSVP ASAP (today) and/or donations by check may be sent to the San Mateo County Health Foundation, 222 West 39th Ave., San Mateo 94403