Buy local, give local
To the editor: This time of year evokes the tradition of spreading holiday goodwill and cheer to all. As everyone begins holiday shopping and event planning, I encourage you to shop for gifts and supplies within your own community by supporting the diversity and quality of our state’s locally made and grown products.
When you buy local, you are supporting Ohio businesses and farmers while keeping your hard-earned dollars in the community where you live. Every dollar spent on Ohio products reinvests in your local economy and allows local businesses to grow and hire more local residents.
Buying locally not only ensures that your hometown economy remains strong, but that downtown shopping districts and Main Streets stay vibrant and unique. In turn, these vendors help shoppers find thoughtful, one-of-a-kind gifts for their family and friends.
There are many specialty retailers who focus on Ohio-made or Ohio-grown products and gifts. If you are in an area with a limited selection, large retailers carry many of these items as well. From fresh food, to wine, baked goods, soaps and lotions, you can probably find Ohio products in every aisle of your favorite grocery store.
Programs like the Ohio Department of Agriculture’s “Ohio Proud” (www.ohioproud.org) program are designed to alert consumers to products that are made, grown or processed in Ohio. Looking for Ohio Proud and other locally made products is a great way to tackle your holiday shopping list while giving back something to your local community.
Ohio Proud Senior Program Manager
To the editor: The story of the beginning of the Susan G. Komen for the Cure is seen right on the front page of the charity’s website.
Nancy Brinker (the CEO of the Komen Foundation) promised her dying sister Susan G. Komen that she would do everything in her power to end breast cancer forever. Since 1982, the organization has been known as a powerhouse in fundraising for breast cancer. It’s supposed ultimate mission is to find a cure.
According to Komen, the foundation brings in an annual income of $420 million. IRS form 990 for 2011 shows Nancy Brinker (CEO) made an annual salary of $684,717. Her salary comes from donations from people who believe they are saving the lives of breast cancer patients, when in reality, only 15 percent of all funds go towards breast cancer research.
According to Reuters Insight, the organization's 2011 financial statement reports that 43 percent of donations were spent on education, 18 percent on fund-raising and administration, 15 percent on research awards and grants, 12 percent on screening and 5 percent on treatment, while various other items accounted for the rest.
Komen portrays “great strides” in cancer research and survival rates. The current annual death rate from breast cancer in the United States alone is approximately 41,000 people, primarily women. Worldwide, nearly 460,000 people will die of breast cancer.
“Great strides” is a major exaggeration, especially when this rate has remained static since the mid-1980s – the time when Susan G. Komen started. These statistics degrade the morals of the Komen foundation. After all, Brinker had promised her dying sister she would do everything in her power to end cancer.
After billions of dollars have been raised since the start of Komen, the fact that survival rates remain unchanged is alarming, and completely unacceptable. If the organization was truly dedicated to its mission (finding a cure), there would be far more funds directed to research, instead of Brinker’s salary and “awareness” events. These events have trivialized breast cancer into celebrations of fluffy pink pom-poms and ribbons.
They have even gone as far as saying early detection is the cure, when in fact, according to Dr. Iman Mohammed of the University of Toledo Medical Center, 30 percent of people diagnosed with early stage breast cancer will end up with metastatic breast cancer, a stage of cancer where it spreads to other areas of the body such as the lungs, brain and bones. Ninety seven percent of these people will die. This number has also remained unchanged. Currently, it is estimated there are 155,000 people living with and fighting metastatic breast cancer.
The solution to the unchanged survival ratings is obvious. In order to make an impact, Susan G. Komen needs to direct almost all funds to research. People who donate to cancer-focused organizations need to be more aware of how their funds are being used.
Just because Komen has managed to portray breast cancer as a feathery, pink celebration of sisterhood and not a disease best fought with scientific understanding, does not mean all charities are in the same boat.
For example, the Breast Cancer Research Fund donates 90 cents of every dollar to supporting breast cancer research. It was founded by Estee Lauder and funds 186 scientists worldwide and has raised over $350 million for breast cancer.
The National Breast Cancer Coalition is a lobbying organization founded in 1991. They set a deadline of Jan. 1, 2020 to end the disease. According to their website, they promote research into the causes of cancer and best possible treatment.
While Susan G. Komen has raised $1.9 million over the course of its 30 years existence, the National Breast Cancer Coalition convinced congress to award 2.1 billion to breast cancer research.
There are many other organizations also which donate more than 85 percent of the funds directly into research such as Metavivor, Metastatic Breast Cancer Network, Stand Up to Cancer and many others.
The more people who understand where their donations are directed to, the more organizations like Komen will be pressured to redirect a much larger portion of funds to research. Consequently, there will be improvements in survival.
Entice small businesses
To the editor: In the Nov. 5, election, five people ran to fill four vacancies on Northwood City Council. One of the candidates in his promotional material stated that growth in all areas, residential and business-industry has been explosive for the city. What a joke.
Have these council people been living under a rock? Our town is almost a ghost town. We would like to see the areas this person is referring to.
We have a Meijer store, but no nice department store to buy clothes, etc. Woodville Mall, except for Sears, is closed. Great Eastern Shopping Center is almost closed. We lost The Andersons, Tire Man, Hostess, Rite Aid, Aldi’s and Pizza Hut, to name a few.
The news reported sometime back that Northwood did not want small businesses. We are not keeping larger stores, so why can’t we see if we can get some new growth from small business?
Ethan and Joanna Remley