Once again, I find myself blogging on the preponderance of what I call “Cure Causes.” It started this weekend when I went to Whole Foods to get some heirloom tomatoes and carrots. At the checkout line, the cashier said “I have added $1 too support “Pink For the Cure Women’s Health Care Awareness. If you don’t want to contribute then I can adjust your ticket.” This really got me on multiple levels.
I did not want to contribute, and I was perturbed at Whole Foods’ tactic of “charge first, adjust later.” I suspect that 90% of the population would say “That’s fine” and go about their way. But I have issues with this tactic. Asking me is irritating, but forcing it on me is unacceptable. If I want to contribute to something, I will go out and find something to contribute to.
Then there is the whole “Pink” movement. Pink has somehow simultaneously become the spokescolor for both “Cancer Survivors” and “Breast Health Awareness.” And 90% of it has gets filtered into the deep pockets of some bloated brass and glass “institute” like Susan G. Komen. “Pink” has become a multi-million dollar marketing ploy all by itself. There are pink T-Shirts, pink ribbons, pink coffee mugs and even pink colored topiaries in Home Depot for your yard.
My next irritation factor is that I know of no organization that has ever, ever, ever contributed to research that has developed ANY cure for ANY disease or factor. Have you? Has diabetes been cured? Has AIDS been cured? Do women now live a life without worry of breast cancer? No, these diseases are still rampant. Why? Because people refuse to alter their unhealthy lifestyles. I believe there are preventative measures for at least reducing the statistical probability of bad news…but I do not believe that Big Pharma holds the key to salvation from disease.
My final gripe is that a friend told me he braved wet and cold this weekend to participate in a 30 mile bike race “for the cure” of diabetes. I asked him to which diabetes foundation his efforts would contribute. His answer: “I think JDF, but it might be some other organization.” I asked him if he had seen the charitable donation disclaimers and how much of his dollar would go to the actual cause versus “overhead and administrative costs.” He stared at me blankly and said “but I rode 30 miles in the cold and rain!!”
Fact is, not many know what percentage of their “contribution” is going to fund research to “cure” these horrid diseases. Some may be totally dishonest. Some may not. I did an investigation of this sort of thing many years ago and concluded that typically a dollar bill will be divided such that 66% of it goes to the cause and 33% of it goes to a fat cat’s wallet. I have also personally known people at the top of these ladders, and I assure you that they were getting new Mercedes Benz automobiles every year.
I am just so tired of EVERYone trying to gouge my money, often by guilting me into contributing. Some lackeys are on the side of the road collecting money in a boot. Are they legit? Who knows. Kids are hosting a car wash…are they legit? Who knows. “Walk for the cure” spams me and cold calls me. Are they legit? Who knows.
I am very, very careful about my contributions, and I do contribute to certain causes. You should also be cautious…and realize that you might be imposing a tax on yourself without even realizing it just to fatten some CEO’s wallet.