When Planned Parenthood of NY applied to become a grantee from Komen for the Cure and was turned down, a PR s**t storm ensued. Nancy Brinker, founder of Komen did not immediately respond. What followed was passionate politics mixed with news bites and media hype.
Many women were fed up with Komen for their “Pink Washing” charitable giving and sponsorship. Many people were mad at Komen for being a nonprofit but paying their top employees big salaries.
I volunteer for Susan Komen for the Cure affiliate of Oregon and SW Washington. Our affiliate, which is 25 years old, has never had Planned Parenthood apply for any grant money. Not many affiliates in the hundreds found throughout the world have had Planned Parenthood apply for grant money. I know this because for my affiliate, I am a peer review member. I read the grant applications.
The first year I volunteered to read the grant applications I was in tears. I wanted every organization to get money. They were all worthy causes. The criteria in general are breast cancer outreach in education, awareness and mammograms to those women who are underserved or without financial means. The organizations have to be able to evaluate the effectiveness on their programs. Although I still cry when reading the grant applications, now I am able to get through them without sobbing!
I attended the ‘Grant Award Celebration’ last week. The charities that received the grants were ecstatic. Distributed was $1.3M in grants to address breast cancer screening and $600,000 for research.
To all the Komen bashers and Pink haters, I wish you could have been in that room with the charity leaders to feel the hope, care and support that the grant money will bring to their cause. The Komen debacle is behind us and supporting Komen is helping to save women from death from breast cancer through awareness, education, mammograms, research and support.