Because every Tuesday should be
Every year, for the past five years, the Tuesday after Thanksgiving (in the U.S.) has been celebrated as #GivingTuesday to remind us after Black Friday and Cyber Monday, some of the biggest gifts we can give are donations, support and volunteer hours to those who need it most.
We understand the holiday season is not an easy one for everyone, and that for many funds are incredibly tight. Today may be a recognized day of giving, but charitable gifts can be given throughout the year. (They also make terrific wedding favors or registry ideas and wish list items for Secret Santas, friends and family). There are also many ways to give that don’t involve money or copious amounts of time.
This year we decided to put together a list of nonprofits we’ve worked with, we support or we feel are generous with their mission. These are organizations and foundations that make it a point to help those with breast cancer in the immediate future or to serve those not being helped under the umbrella of “research” and “awareness.”
There are dozens of worthy causes to donate to within the breast cancer community (and beyond). Our list is just a sampling, and we hoped to focus on smaller and newer causes that don’t necessarily get funding as easily as the bigger organizations. (In full disclosure, we do include Living Beyond Breast Cancer, a long-time AnaOno nonprofit partner).
We will be sharing this information throughout the holiday season, so if one of your favorite nonprofits or organizations has been left out, please comment below, engage with us on LiveChat or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org, so we can include them in our social media outreach.
We know your time and money is precious. If you can give, please do. If you can’t, that’s okay, too. You can help tremendously by simply spreading the word to others. We are grateful and thank you for anything you can do to help make this season a season of gratitude and giving!
WHERE: Bala Cynwyd, PA
WHAT/WHY: Twenty-five years ago, LBBC was founded by a group of women in Philadelphia who had been seeking out information for support after primary breast cancer treatment. Under the guidance of Dr. Marisa Weiss, the groups discovered there was a lack of resources available to them and that the resources that were, weren’t available to all who needed it. In order to remedy that, they created a place and space for women to share their knowledge, give accurate information and support and care for one another. Today, LBBC continues to provide vetted information and resources to all of those affected by breast cancer, from the newly diagnosed to those living with metastatic disease. Through webinars, events, videos, outreach programs and small, expertly-trained groups, LBBC has championed both a virtual and nationwide support system that not only helps those with breast cancer, but their friends, families and caregivers as well.
HOW: For a list of ways you can help LBBC, please click here.
WHERE: Louisville, KY
WHAT/WHY: When the late Jill Conley was diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer, her story of hope, confidence and body positivity catapulted her into the hearts and homes of people worldwide. With this support and reach, Jill decided to use her cancerlebrity for good and started her small nonprofit Jill’s Wish with her husband, Bart. Jill’s Wish gives $1,500 grants throughout the year to those who are newly diagnosed and in treatment for breast cancer, or who are living with terminal disease. These grants are earmarked to provide financial assistance for everyday living, helping to pay mortgages, rent, utilities, fuel and other bills that are critical to keeping a roof overhead and a working car available. Jill knew firsthand how challenging it was to balance finances and treatment, budget woes and recovery needs, and she wanted families to be able to focus on what was most important - getting the rest, the time and the support needed during cancer treatment - rather than worrying about making the next payment.
HOW: Financial contributions and event sponsorships are what help this very small, community and family-run nonprofit. You can find more information by clicking here.
WHERE: Portland, OR
WHAT/WHY: Founder Kara Skaflestad was diagnosed with stage IIIB breast cancer at 26 on the heels of her grandmother’s passing from the disease. Alongside her boyfriend of one week, Kara went through treatment with lipstick and a smile, deciding she was going to “Fight Pretty.” After having the love and support of her friends and family during treatment, Kara wanted to give the same experience to others. She wanted women to feel beautiful while going through cancer so she began making care packages, deemed Pretty Packages, from her apartment. The experience led her to create her foundation, Fighting Pretty, and send 500 Pretty Packages to women across the country in the first year. Now Fighting Pretty offer boxing gloves and GLOSSYBOXES in addition to Pretty Packages, any of which can be sent to help women of any age and any cancer diagnosis feel beautiful and confident while going through treatment and its aftermath.
HOW: Discover how you can help another woman fight pretty here.
WHERE: Copperas Cove, TX
WHAT/WHY: Two young breast cancer survivors met one another by chance. Both of them felt completely alone and wanted to find a way to better offer support and encouragement for other women like themselves. Their belief that no woman should be alone through breast cancer led them to form Pink Warrior Angels, a foundation that provides all kinds of support from comfort bags and kits to financial assistance to personal visits and resources. The emotional support Pink Warrior Angels provides also comes in the form of a volunteer, or Angel, assigned to a “Warrior,” providing cards, gifts and in-person meetings. Its financial assistance can run the gamut from bill pay to helping with cleaning around the house. Their goals for the coming year are to provide retreats for Angels and Warriors and to grow their love and support from their communities in Texas to the rest of the country.
HOW: You can help PWA in many ways. Learn more here.
WHERE: Charlotte, NC
WHAT/WHY: After Angela Baker was handed her third breast cancer diagnosis, this time stage IV, she decided to change her life and make a commitment to serve others. Her foundation Angels in Disguise is just that - angels helping with the everyday challenges breast cancer patients and their families face. The foundation’s services list include transportation, medication pick-ups, errands, personal shopping, administrative duties and so much more.
HOW: Angels in Disguise is always looking for volunteers in the Charlotte area, as well as, donations. Find more information here.
WHERE: Annapolis, MD
WHAT/WHY: METAvivor is the largest foundation serving those with metastatic breast cancer. Its entire mission is to support and fight for those diagnosed with this terminal disease, with its greatest commitment to turn 100% of donations into research money for MBC. In fact, METAvivor is the only foundation in the U.S. that exclusively funds MBC research. All breast cancers that result in death are metastatic diagnoses, and METAvivor aims to bring an end to the 113 people lost daily in the U.S. to the disease. Through research grants, awareness campaigns, activism and resources, METAvivor is the leader in supporting those diagnosed with stage IV breast cancer. Since its inception in 2009, the foundation has been able to grant over $2.4 million toward research.
HOW: METAvivor is a peer-reviewed organization with a list of ideas on how you can help. Find out how here.
WHERE: New York, NY
WHY: Champagne Joy is on a mission to make a difference in the lives of everyone living in #Cancerland. Currently fighting for her life with a stage IV breast cancer diagnosis, Champagne’s foundation is about education, research and advocacy. From driving people to chemo to bringing stage IV awareness to Millennials through a highly-successful campaign with Refinery29 this past October, #Cancerland is getting voices heard, changing policies and extending hands to others. As Champagne says “We will get better or get better at it.”
HOW: Every donation furthers advocacy. Learn more here.
WHERE: Upstate NY/Everywhere
WHAT/WHY: An online magazine launched in August, The Underbelly is about exposing the side of cancer rarely talked about: the ugly truth. Founded by three friends, all with breast cancer, The Underbelly is a safe space for women to discuss what is under the surface of the “brave faces” - things like chronic pain, grief, depression, PTSD, metastatic disease, fear and side effects. With dozens of subjects to search and hundreds of personal accounts to read, The Underbelly is a support system and sounding board. It is an online community of women who aren’t afraid to talk about the things you want to talk about (but no one seems to hear or want to hear).
HOW: To read what The Underbelly has to offer and find out how you can help, click here.
WHERE: Fort Mill, SC
WHY: Kelly Kashmer wants women to take control of their health and learn about how genetics can shape their future and potential cancer diagnoses. After testing BRCA+, Kelly decided to monitor her health through periodic scans and doctors visits. Two weeks later she was diagnosed with stage II breast cancer. Her experience that started with genetic testing encouraged by her physician and went on to include 11 surgeries and chemotherapy, led to Kelly’s mission, and the mission of Nothing Pink, to foster awareness. The vision of Nothing Pink is to educate women on genetic testing, help them understand their risks and raise money to offer financial assistance to those who are at risk, but can’t afford the costs associated with testing.
HOW: Further awareness and help make genetic testing affordable for those who need it. Find out how here.
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There’s no denying that mastectomy tattoos can be both beautiful, inspired and badass. For many women affected by breast cancer, it’s the last step in their mastectomy and breast reconstruction journey, and a symbolic ritual that empowers them to move into the next chapter of their lives. By adorning their bodies in a personal design after their breast cancer diagnosis and surgeries, they are taking back their power and starting over.
These post-mastectomy tattoos serve as a form of self-expression that helps restore confidence that may have been lost throughout their mastectomy and/or reconstructive process. Single or Double mastectomy tattoos are an artistic way to hide or camouflage scars left behind after mastectomy, to help one feel better about their new body shape, or to highlight and celebrate surgery scars. What’s most important, is that you do what makes you feel most confident and comfortable in your skin, and that builds your confidence and love for your body after breast surgery and mastectomy.
The road to self-love and compassion for both your physical body and inner self after a breast cancer diagnosis or dealing with chronic pain can feel impossible to reach. We know, because we’ve been there. So have so many other countless women, breast cancer patients, survivors, thrivers and previvors in the AnaOno community. We talked to a few women who are not only on the road to self-acceptance after breast cancer, but setting their sights on the ultimate: self-celebration and true self-love after mastectomy surgery.