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Cleaning for a Reason

When my mom was going through treatment for cancer, I saw firsthand how draining it is.  My mom had no energy after treatments.  Luckily my dad was able to keep the house clean.  Today’s organization fills a need for those women in treatment that don’t have someone to help with house cleaning.

Cleaning for a Reason recruits maid services all over the country to give away free housecleaning services to women who are battling cancer.  They are the only non-profit offering housecleaning to women with cancer.  According to Debbie Sardone, Founder of Cleaning for a Reason, “As a maid service owner, I understood this need and wanted to do something about it, not just in my own home town, but all across the nation, so Cleaning For A Reason was born.”

The organization partners with cleaning services around the United States and Canada.  They are close to having 1,000 partner services around the country offering free cleaning services to women undergoing cancer treatment.  Since their founding in 2006, over 4,500 women have received free housecleaning services through the program. 

If you or someone you know is undergoing cancer treatment, you can search for partners of Cleaning for a Reason on their website.  If you are a maid service and would like to sign up as a partner, you can fill out a form on the website to start discussing the possibility.

Others can also help by shopping in the Cleaning for a Reason e-store.  A variety of items are available including apparel, pins, mugs, camp chairs and more!

Learn more about Cleaning for a Reason on their website, www.cleaningforareason.org.  You can also follow them on Facebook and Twitter.

 
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Posted by on July 27, 2011 in Nonprofit Organization

 

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Boston Bakes for Breast Cancer

I have attended and even participated in many a bake sale.  People bake cookies, muffins, cakes, and more in their kitchen and sell them to raise money for an organization or cause.  Now, imagine real chefs rather than home cooks doing a bake sale?  Essentially that is what Boston Bakes for Breast Cancer has created! 

In 1973, Eva Brownman lost her battle to breast cancer at only 44 years old and left behind two young daughters.  In 1991, these daughters, Marjie Brownman Shapiro and Carol Brownman Sneider, in association with several of their friends and relatives, established The Eva Brownman Breast Cancer Fund to benefit breast cancer research and education at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute in Boston, Massachusetts.

In 2000, Carol decided to try something different and began contacting restaurants to participate in a week long dessert celebration.  In that first year 42 restaurants, bakeries, and cafes signed up to donate all their profits from one dessert to the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute for a full week.  Boston Bakes for Breast Cancer was born!

Each year, the week before Mother’s Day, restaurants, bakeries, cafes, ice cream shops and more sign up to participate.  This year the event will have at least 250 restaurants in 90 communities across Massachusetts.  Some will even ship their special desserts around the country (more details on that later). 

Now in their 12th year, Boston Bakes for Breast Cancer has raised over $500,000 for cancer research…last year they raised $70,000 in just one week with a goal to raise at least that much in 2011!  Together with the efforts of the Eva Brownman Breast Cancer Fund, over 1.5 million dollars has been raised!

How can you help?

  • Visit one of the 250 restaurants and indulge in dessert between May 2 and 8, 2011.  Search for participating restaurants by city here
  • Like I mentioned above, some restaurants are able to ship desserts around the country.  Go to the restaurant list and choose “Desserts Shipped to You” as the city.
  • Boston Bakes is also always looking for volunteers.  They are willing to receive help with anything…marketing, blogging, phone calling and more!  Just contact them to let them know what your interests are.  
  • For those watching your waistline, cash donations are also accepted on their website

Learn more about Boston Bakes for Breast Cancer on their website, www.bostonbakesforbreastcancer.org.  You can also follow them on Twitter and Facebook.

 
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Posted by on March 29, 2011 in Nonprofit Organization

 

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Hats for Happiness

In 2005, my mom was diagnosed with cancer.  She went through surgery and then moved on to chemotherapy treatments.  She knew she would probably lose her hair so she ordered a wig.  I never saw her wear the wig…instead she opted to wear scarves instead because she felt that the wig wasn’t really her.  My mom is now cancer free, but my passion about raising money for cancer research and organizations that help people going through treatment hasn’t ended.

I recently stumbled across an organization called Hats for Happiness.  A woman who goes by the name “Cancer Girl” started Hats for Happiness with the mission to provide “Cancer Super Heroes” going through chemotherapy with Hats and other head coverings.  Cancer Girl describes an additional mission of the organization as “being a community where volunteers and Cancer Super Heroes who have fought and who are still fighting can come together.”

Cancer Girl describes the beginning of this organization as an accident.  “I got cancer and began a blog “The Adventures of CancerGIrl and SuperDog’ at http://itscancergirl.blogspot.com.  The blog is an account of my experience with having cancer, being a college student, going to school during treatment, and trying to run a household.” 

During that time she lost her hair due to chemotherapy treatments.  About 1 ½ hours from her home, they have what are called “wig parties” once a month.  However, she lost her hair soon after beginning chemo and it just so happened that it was weeks before the next wig party.  Many people gave her hats and she heard from others that they had “about 5 or 6 hats around some place” with an offer to give them to her.  It occurred to her that if the handful of people she knew with several hats each, there must be a lot more people who have hats that they have never worn.

Cancer Girl continues, “I further began to think about how much more convenient it would be if the Oncologist office had a display that had a number of hats on it that people who have lost their hair can choose a hat from the display when they go to their oncologist, which is someplace that Cancer Super Heroes go on a regular basis.”

The name Hats for Happiness came from Cancer Girl’s tradition of watching stand-up comedy, sitcoms, and funny movies during her chemo treatments.  While the shows didn’t take away the side effects of the medications, “they did make me laugh for a few minutes and I would feel a little bit better.”  She took on a “fake it till you make it” mentality and found that it worked, that she truly was happy.  She also spoke to other cancer patients through being “Cancer Girl” she was able to spread the positivity of being happy.

How can you help Cancer Girl and Hats for Happiness?

  • Individuals or groups can help by collecting hats and sending them to any of the addresses listed on the organization’s website
  • Financial donations are also accepted to cover the cost of shipping hats to those who request them.  You can send a check to Hats for Happiness, P.O. Box 144 Morriston FL 32668 or make a donation through PayPal using the link on the website.
  • The organization is also planning a number of fundraisers and hat drives across the nation. 
  • If you work in the Oncology field, you can help by hosting a distribution display in your office.  The office would not have to be responsible for anything but allowing the organization to have a small area in the waiting room for a display where patients can choose a hat or leave hats for donation.
  • Business owners can also help by hosting a Donation Box.  A volunteer go and collect the hats and any checks that are left and replenish the supply of available hats.  Their displays are colorful and brighten up any office or business!
  • Groups could also hold a hat drive and fundraisers to benefit Hats for Happiness.  Some suggestions include community yard sales, bake sales, bike rides where there is a fee for riding in the ride that is waived with the donation of a hat. 

In addition to providing hats, Cancer Girl spends much of her time speaking with Cancer Patients, Caregivers, and parents of children with Cancer.   The organization’s mission is much more than hats, it is about the community, the sharing, and the friendship that is fostered through bringing together Cancer Patients with those who care about and for them.  This also gives Cancer Super Heroes who have won their battle a way to continue to feel like they are involved with the community.  Cancer Girl describes that “many times after treatment people have so much support during that once they are in remission that support tends to wane.  It isn’t an intentional thing on the part of family and friends, they may feel like the battle is won, and they want to move on, for the person who has just gone through treatment though, it is sometimes very hard to ‘get on with things’ when they have spent so much of their time focused on Cancer during treatment, it is hard to transition back into life.  By providing a community of people who have been at all the stages of treatment, and life after, it helps people going through this horrible illness feel like they aren’t alone.”

Hats for Happiness recently began a program where cancer patients can sign up to be put on a list of  “Cancer Super Heroes” and other volunteers are signing up to be “Super Cheerleaders”.  The cheerleaders can post words of encouragement on the hero’s Facebook wall or connect through email.

Cancer Girl describes her personal experience with cheerleader type support: “One of the greatest motivations and sources of strength for me was to have others posting on my wall, many times people I did not know well or personally, just people who cared in general, who wrote things like ‘You can do this’ and ‘We know you are a strong and you can beat this’, people who are happy with them when they want to be happy and who can also be there for them when the not so good times come.  Through this lifelong friendships are formed, and everyone benefits, after all, who couldn’t use a few more Friends and people caring about them?”

You can learn more about Hats for Happiness at their website, www.HatsForHappiness.org, via e-mail, on Facebook or Twitter.  You can also follow Cancer Girl’s Blog at http://itscancergirl.blogspot.com.

 
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Posted by on November 23, 2010 in Nonprofit Organization

 

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Posing for Pink

Many people I know are uncomfortable with their bodies.  When a group picture is taken we fight for the back row or we may ask “does this outfit make my fill in the blank look big”?  Well, there is a group of women who have bared it all to raise money for the cause they are passionate about…a cure for Breast Cancer.

Posing for Pink is a breast cancer group based in the Minneapolis/St. Paul metro area.  They have come up with a unique way to fundraise and honor to those diagnosed with breast cancer; an implied nudity calendar. The calendar features Susan G Komen for the Cure 3Day Walker and Crew members, breast cancer survivors, and family and friends who have been touched by breast cancer.

The organization was started by two sisters in honor of their mother who is the breast cancer survivor and pays tribute to all those affected by breast cancer.  The calendar features local women who were photographed in the classic pin-up girl calendar style.  The photos are tastefully done and show the beauty of the female form as well as each girl’s individual beauty.  Net proceeds from calendar sales benefit Susan G. Komen 3-Day for the Cure™ which invests in breast cancer research and community programs.  Today, Komen for the Cure is the world’s largest grassroots network of breast cancer survivors and activists fighting to save lives, empower people, ensure quality care for all and energize science to find a cure.  

Posing for Pink co-founder Diana Yund describes the reason behind the organization: “In January of 2007 I was having lunch downtown with my Mom when her phone rang and our lives were forever changed.  She had breast cancer.  My sister and I took turns caring for our mother through surgeries (yup, there were a lot of surgeries) and chemo & radiation treatments.  While sitting in the chemo room I saw a commercial for the Breast Cancer 3Day walk and decided to participate.  By the time I entered closing ceremonies that August my mother had completed her last radiation treatment and I had raised over $2,200 for breast cancer.  The next year my sister decided to join me in the walk.” 

In 2009 Yund was brainstorming for a way to raise money for the walk and give something back to the donors.  A friend mentioned the movie “Calendar Girls” and they had their idea!  Yund continues, “I decided to form a local group, Posing for Pink, to create, produce, print, and sell breast cancer calendars to raise money for breast cancer.  I had a budget of zero dollars but I had something better than money at my disposal: a bold idea, great family and friends, a worthy cause, and I wasn’t taking no for an answer.”

Now, near the end of 2010, the group has produced two breast cancer calendars which have raised roughly $15,000 for breast cancer, and are currently in the planning stages for a 2012 calendar.  What is even more amazing…they did it within budget!  “The entire calendar, from the hair-and-make up, to the photographer, graphic designer, to the printer and paper have been donated by local artists and business. That’s right – we did it on a budget of zero dollars. 100% of our breast cancer calendar price goes to Susan K Komen for the Cure,” according to Yund.

So, how can you help? 

  • You can start by purchasing a calendar at posingforpink.com.  You can even pick up a “vintage” 2010 calendar from the website too!  Then you can tell all your friends about these women who “wear Pink or nothing at all.”
  • If you are brave, you can also appear in an upcoming calendar.  The group does request that you participate in other cancer awareness events and activities in addition to your calendar appearance.  
  • Local businesses and artists have the opportunity to donate their time and talents to the calendar through photography, graphic design, costumes, hair-and-make-up, printing, and hosting fundraising events. 

Yund continues, “Today, I am happy to report that my mother is almost a 4 year breast cancer survivor, Posing for Pink has raised over $25,000 in four years in the fight against breast cancer, and in August of 2011 I will be walking in my 5th Breast Cancer 3Day walk in San Fran with my sister.”

Learn more about Posing for Pink on their website, follow them on Twitter, like them on Facebook, or e-mail them at posingforpink@gmail.com.  You can learn more about Susan G Komen for the Cure at www.komen.org and the Breast Cancer 3Day at www.the3day.org.

 
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Posted by on October 19, 2010 in Nonprofit Organization

 

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Project Boobies

We are continuing a theme of organizations related to cancer for October with an organization with a catchy name….Project Boobies! 

Project Boobies has a twofold mission:

  • The first mission is to raise awareness of charity Kokolulu Farm and Cancer Retreats, a unique non-profit organization that helps cancer survivors win the mental battle with cancer. 
  • The second mission is to sell ProjectBoobies.com breast cancer shirts to raise money for Kokolulu and raise awareness of early detection.  Up to 50% of the profits from the t-shirts are donated.

According to founder Rob Schmidt, “With Project Boobies, we’ve developed a new line of shirts that are geared to spotlight the need for people to be aware of their bodies to catch breast cancer early and make a difference.”  The logo was actually created using the hands of Schmidt’s 14 year old daughter.  The breast cancer ribbon tied around the finger is a reminder to conduct your self-exams and mammograms to promote early detection.  Schmidt continues, “We left our motto of I Grab A Feel so Cancer Can’t Steal open ended because breast cancer steals something different from everyone so we wanted the person wearing or seeing our shirt to define what is stolen from them.” 

How can you help?

  • Visit ProjectBoobies.com to make a direct donation to Kokolulu Farm and Cancer Retreat, learn more about breast cancer or to learn more about self exams.
  • Visit ProjectBoobies.com to buy a logo shirt to spread the word about the importance of early detection!
  • Check out some shirts autographed by Model/Actress Cassandra Lynn available on their auction page.
  • Help connect Project Boobies with additional celebrities willing to sign a few shirts.
  • Visit the Kokolulu website to learn more and spread the word!

Support Breast Cancer Awareness month by “grabbing a feel!”

 
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Posted by on October 12, 2010 in Nonprofit Organization

 

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Army of Women

Happy Blog for Your Breasts Day!

One of the keys to learning is research.  When it comes to research about diseases such as Breast Cancer, we need volunteers to be involved.  In 2008 a new organization called Army of Women was founded to get to just that…making available a pool of volunteers for cancer research studies.

The Dr. Susan Love Research Foundation and the Avon Foundation for Women, a global leader in breast cancer research, joined forces to launch the Love/Avon Army of Women, a partnership between scientists and women.

Their initiative has two key goals:

  1. To recruit one million healthy women of every age and ethnicity, including breast cancer survivors and women at high-risk for the disease, to partner with breast cancer researchers and directly participate in the research that will eradicate breast cancer once and for all.
  2. To challenge the scientific community to expand its current focus to include breast cancer prevention research conducted on healthy women.

The Army of Women (AOW) provides an opportunity for men and women to take part in breast cancer research studies aimed at determining the causes of breast cancer–and how to prevent it. The AOW is a groundbreaking initiative that connects breast cancer researchers via the internet with women who are willing to participate in a wide variety of research studies. The goal of the Army of Women is to recruit ONE MILLION MEN AND WOMEN of all ages and ethnicities, including breast cancer survivors and those who have never had breast cancer.

So, how can you help?

  • Sign up!  You can go here to sign up to be included in the AOW database.  This does not sign you up for any specific studies.  Instead you will start to receive information on the current studies and are able to voluntarily sign up for each study as it is available. 
  • Participate in studies that you fit into.  Check out the current studies here.
  • Invite your friends to sign up for the AOW database!
  • Make a donation to the cause.
  • Make a purchase from the Army of Women Store to help support and promote the cause.
  • Spread the word by posting the following Facebook status: “I signed up to STOP breast cancer before it STARTS.  Have you?  Join today at www.armyofwomen.org, then copy and paste this status update as your own”.
  • Tweet about AOW using the hashtag #WritePink.
  • Check out this public service annoucement prepared by AOW or visit the AOW website to learn more.

I recently read an excerpt of a new book by Nancy G. Brinker, the founder of another foundation focused on breast cancer: Susan G. Komen for the Cure.  In this excerpt she spoke about the summer that polio ran through towns across America.  She remembers her mom raising money to help the scientists find a cure and others who felt a cure was impossible.  Today, I don’t have to worry about polio for my children because of those scientists and volunteers.  I joined the Army of Women not because I have been personally impacted by breast cancer, but so that my kids can maybe look back at cancer as something they no longer need to worry about.

 
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Posted by on October 1, 2010 in Nonprofit Organization

 

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