Is There No Shame?
Each of us acutely knows of the efforts undertaken over the last three decades to find a cure and to advance treatment for many types of cancer. Most people well know of facts like cancer is the second leading cause of death in the United States; breast cancer affects 1 in 8 women in the United States; and over the last thirty years, the cure rate for specific types of leukemia have skyrocketed, bringing hope to tens of thousands of families across the country.
Ribbons of almost every color of the rainbow – symbolizing different types of cancer – are everywhere; pink for breast cancer; orange for leukemia; and green for lymphoma. Friends and family members attend events of hope all across the country. The events are marketing bonanzas, bringing together those suffering from the disease, survivors, family members and friends, physicians and other medical care providers and vendors associated with cancer in multiple ways.
Giving to a charity whose goal is to find a cure or enhance and advance treatments for those suffering from cancer is an easy ask. Literally every family has likely been touched by this disease, through blood or love.
And, therein lies the rub.
In a joint announcement, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the attorneys general for all 50 states jointly sued four cancer charities and announced these cancer charities have duped Americans to donate $187 million dollars as part of a shameless affront to human decency. Four charities run by family members have profited handsomely from their deception, never designed to help in the fight to find cures for a disease that ravaged our society. The FTC and attorneys general claim these four charities don’t really help children with cancer. In fact, they don’t provide financial assistance to families and cancer patients, other than a few pennies of each dollar donated and, they hurt women diagnosed with breast cancer. In addition, the complaint alleges that each charity claims to have provided millions of dollars in donated goods to cancer patients worldwide.
97% of the funds donated, or $181,390,000, went to support the family operating the charities.
Write the names of these charities down somewhere, so you don’t forget them:
- Cancer Fund of America
- Breast Cancer Society
- Cancer Support Services
- Children’s Cancer Fund of America
Don’t be fooled into thinking you are doing a good deed, because you aren’t. Don’t give them a penny. Tear up those sad letters they send, seeking your help. Hang up your phones when they call. If we can’t shame people like this into stopping, if we cannot stop another penny from finding its way to them, it is a very sad day.
Investigate before you donate. Make sure the good cause to which you are giving is actually a good cause going to help people.
There are worse things than defrauding millions of Americans trying to do the right thing. But, it’s a pretty short list.