You can’t miss the presence of pink during the month of October; pink coffee sleeves, pink pins, and the (controversial) explosion of pink on NFL stadiums reappear every year to demonstrate organizations’ alliance with efforts to raise awareness for breast cancer.
Increasingly people are questioning the purpose and effectiveness of the annual “pinkwashing” – a recent L.A. Times article asks a pointed question: “[I]s the pink just a feel-good marketing tool whose real ‘cause’ is a corporate bottom line?”
Instead of falling into corporate debates, we want to take a different route: What can you do to make a difference? How can you take such a recognizable color and use it to truly benefit the cause?
The answer came from 10-year-old Brianna Hastings, daughter of one of the marketing managers here at Springer Publishing Company and Demos Health and Medical Publishing Company. She took it upon herself to bring the iconic pink image to the local level by selling hand-made rainbow loom bracelets to her friends and community. We chatted with Brianna about her project and her answers demonstrate how one person can make a difference on the pink front.
SpringBoard: Could you describe what you’re doing to raise awareness on breast cancer?
Brianna: I am making rainbow loom bracelets. I am making them pink and white because pink is the official breast cancer color and I am adding white to make patterns. The reason I decided to make pink and white is so people cannot confuse them with any bracelet that you can find at any store. These bracelets are unique.
When people wear them they see that they can help someone who needs a cure for breast cancer. So the money I am raising is going to breast cancer… So they can find a cure.
SpringBoard: What has been the most challenging aspect of your project?
Brianna: The most challenging part of this project is making all the bracelets. So many people want to buy them because they know it is for a good cause. I have already sold 71 and my goal is 150 bracelets.
SpringBoard: Why do you think it is important to raise awareness for breast cancer research? Why is it important for kids your age to get involved?
Brianna: It is important to raise awareness because if people see the bracelet they will remember to go to their doctor for their test to see if they have breast cancer or not. If they have breast cancer they can be treated right away.
It is important to help people [with this disease] because one day we can have it and if we help they can find the cure more quickly.
SpringBoard: What has been your favorite part of this project?
Brianna: My favorite part is getting to sell and make all the bracelets because people love to see a child helping others. I like all the compliments I get from people. The compliments make me want to help more.
SpringBoard: Do you see this becoming a long term project? Will you continue to stay involved in breast cancer awareness projects, or any other cause?
Brianna: I do see it becoming a long term project not just for breast cancer but for other illness or causes. Yes I see myself getting involved in breast cancer awareness projects. Like walking, doing art projects to raise money for other causes and breast cancer.
SpringBoard: If you could give one piece of advice to a peer who is also looking to do more in their community to raise awareness, what would you tell him/her?
Brianna: I will tell them that it does not matter what your talent is you can still do something great to help other. When you get involved in these projects and you put your heart in to it, you can achieve anything you want.
When Brianna is not selling bracelets and raising community awareness, she enjoys reading, art and playing with her stuffed animals: All in the life of a 10-year-old.
If you're interested in purchasing one of Brianna's bracelets or learning more about her project, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.