Here are 14 things you can do between now and the end of October:
1. Participate in the World’s Greatest Treasure Hunt.
Matador editor Carlo Alcos blogged about the World’s Greatest Treasure Hunt, a creative fund raiser intended to generate more than $100 million for breast cancer research. Read all about it in Carlo’s article on the NileGuide travel blog.
2. Take part in a clinical study.
Clinical research advances scientists’ and doctors’ understanding of disease. And research isn’t only about finding a cure; it’s also about improving quality of life. If you have breast cancer and are interested in participating in a study, Australia’s University of Western Sydney has put out a call for participants for a study about cancer’s effects on intimacy and sexuality. Not in Australia? Call your local university or local breast cancer advocacy/awareness organization to ask about studies in your area.
3. Go shopping.
Need a new pair of shoes? Buying back to school supplies for your kids? Hundreds of businesses, both local and international, have teamed up with the Susan G. Komen Foundation to donate part of their October sales to breast cancer research. A partial list of these retailers can be found on Savings.com.
The Komen Foundation also sells its own items– clothing, accessories, jewelry, and luggage– on its website.
4. Take a woman to the doctor.
Early detection of breast cancer is one of the most effective ways of preventing the disease’s advance. Ask a woman you love if she’s had a mammogram. If not, offer to accompany her to the doctor.
5. Donate a mammogram to an uninsured woman.
The US’ National Breast Cancer Foundation earmarks donations of $100 for mammograms for uninsured women. If $100 is too much, why not ask a few friends to pitch in?
6. Eat yogurt.
Yoplait donates 10 cents for every yogurt lid sent in between now and December 31, 2010 to the Susan G. Komen Foundation. The company has made a commitment to donate a minimum of $500,000 to cancer research. Visit Yoplait’s website for details.
7. Support health education.
Support health education initiatives in communities with limited resources by participating in a microloan program such as Kiva.
The National Breast Cancer Foundation has many volunteer opportunities. Whether providing direct support to patients or doing work behind the scenes on fund raising or tech support, NBCF and similar organizations rely heavily on volunteer efforts. Sign up here.
9. Make a career change.
Have health education experience? The Women’s Health and Counseling Center of Somerville, New Jersey is looking for a breast cancer educator.
10. Celebrate life.
Throw a party for the women you know who are breast cancer survivors.
11. Tell your story.
12. Support “pink” businesses.
Lots of businesses have realized that “going pink” in October is good for their bottom line. This list of Chicago bars, restaurants, and spas includes special October promos that divert some profits to breast cancer research. Do a Google search and see if a similar list exists for your area.
13. Take care of yourself.
14. Get ready for next year.
Start training now for a walk-run fund raiser. Check the requirements of sponsoring organizations like the American Cancer Society and the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer to see which events funnel the most money to actual research.
The Susan G. Komen Foundation partners with marathons and half-marathons throughout the year; check their site for event listings.
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Julie Schwietert Collazo is a writer, editor, researcher, and translator currently in New York, formerly of Mexico City and San Juan.
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