Think Before You Buy Pink

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(Memphis) October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, but you may want to think before buying anything pink.

In fact, the symbolic pink ribbon isn't trademarked so anyone can use it.

The overuse and marketing of pink products is referred to as pink washing!

So how do you know what's legit and where your money is really going?

One cancer survivor and Susan G. Komen volunteer has some great advice.

Despite losing her own mother to cervical cancer and having an aunt survive breast cancer, Georgetta Carr says she never pictured herself in the sisterhood.

"I must admit that when I got the call to say the mass was cancerous, my thought was no, not me, I'm the volunteer I help," said Carr.

Carr had just been named Team Co-Chair of the 2013 Race for the Cure, when she was diagnosed with breast cancer after an annual mammogram.

She's now 11 rounds into 16 treatments of chemotherapy, which will be followed by a lumpectomy and radiation.

One of the drugs that's been used in her treatment was funded through a Komen grant, "It really makes me feel good, I never would have thought this, but the years that I worked with Komen up to this point to raise money. I've come full circle, for me because I'm now on the drug for which my money possibly went to."

However, some companies donate limited dollars to the cause and then there are flat-out crooks just hoping to cash in.

Carr told us, "I would suggest that people take the time to ask questions, if you're about to give your money and donate to someone ask them, what is this going to go to?"

Experts say It's a good idea to stick with familiar names when donating to charities and even then, do your homework.

You can find background information online through sites like Guide Star and Charity Navigator.

In Tennessee, you'll find financial records of registered charities at the Secretary of State's website.

If it's a for-profit company selling a pink product, ask about a percentage that will benefit breast cancer research or programs.

"If it's just to bring awareness through a wristband, that's great, but, we want people to get diagnosed early, we want people to know where the screenings are and where they can go, and again, we're racing for a cure," Carr explains.

According to Komen Memphis, 75% of the money it raises, stays here in the MidSouth, the remaining 25% goes to breast cancer research.