Every October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, an opportunity to spread awareness about the disease that kills nearly 41,000 women each year. No matter your office budget, there are plenty of ways to raise breast cancer awareness in the workplace. It’s also a fantastic opportunity to engage the local community through educational events and fundraising challenges.
Ready to get started? Here’s 14 ideas to spread breast cancer awareness:
1. Wear a pink ribbon daily in October
At the start of the month, hand out pink ribbons to everyone in your office. Encourage your employees to wear it daily as a reminder and to keep conversation opportunities open about breast health.
2. “Art Your Bra” auction
Gather up bras to bedazzle and auction off at a gala or other fundraising event. The fancier, the better! If someone in your office is battling breast cancer, send the proceeds to help pay for treatment. Or, send the funds to a local breast cancer research center.
3. Host a pink fashion show
Invite friends and family to a fashion show run by employees hitting the “runway” in all pink clothing. Add in crazy hats, feather boas, and big sunglasses. Throughout the evening, the emcee can share facts and resources about breast cancer.
4. Hold a pink pumpkin contest
What’s better than combining Halloween activities with a good cause? Have employees create their best breast cancer awareness pumpkin to showcase. Display pumpkins in the lobby (or even the local chamber of commerce office) with collection jars next to each one. The pumpkin with the most jar donations wins! Donate the funds to a cause like Susan G. Komen or a local cancer center for women.
5. Breast cancer awareness bulletin board
Get crafty and decorate a bulletin board in a highly-trafficked area. Encourage your artistic employees to use their talents for raising awareness. Keep it simple with facts, or create a themed board to draw more attention. Some ideas:
- Honor/Support Board
Encourage employees to write a message of support for someone who is fighting breast cancer. Notes to survivors or deceased loved ones may be encouraged as well.
- Bra Board
Tack up or draw fancy bras with the message “Show Your Support!”
- Grow a Pink Tree Board
Collect donations throughout the month. For employees who donate, have them trace their hand on pink construction paper and add it to the tree on your bulletin board. Employees will love watching the tree “grow” throughout the month.
This fundraiser is simple and fun for offices of all sizes. Have employees vote for their favorite breast cancer charity ahead of the raffle. Split the proceeds 50/50 with the winner and the charity. Win-win!
7. “Lunch and Learn” with a breast cancer survivor
Ask a breast cancer survivor to come and speak at a lunch and learn in your office. Employees will appreciate hearing a firsthand account of why prevention measures are so important. At the end, hand out resources and a list of local providers who offer mammograms covered by your health insurance.
8. Share “Beyond The Shock” resource
This free resource is an online guide and app to better understand breast cancer. It’s an ideal resource for employees struggling with a breast cancer diagnosis. Users can also watch inspirational videos from breast cancer survivors sharing their stories.
9. Organize a walk/run event
Build office camaraderie and spirits by organizing a group to participate in a local breast cancer walk or run. Susan G. Komen offers Race for the Cure and 3-day events, along with plenty of local events as well that don’t include exercise. Proceeds go toward scientific research to cure breast cancer.
10. Donation dress-down
Employees who usually wear business attire will love the opportunity to dress-down — especially for a good cause. Allow any employee who offers a donation for breast cancer research to dress casually for a day or even a week. Not sure where to send donations? Charity Watch and Charity Navigator shows donors which organizations get an A grade for being good stewards of donations.
11. Collect scarves and hats
Do you have an office full of givers? Take up a collection of brand-new scarves and hats to deliver to a local chemo center. Since many women lose their hair during treatment, a bright scarf or hat will make her day. Better yet, if any of your office staff enjoys knitting or crocheting, ask them if they’d be willing to make some hats.
12. DIY fundraiser
Allow employees to pick their own style of fundraising — individually or as a team. They can also choose to join an already existing fundraiser as well. Check out the Susan G. Komen fundraising site for details and share with your employees.
13. Cubicle/door/hallway decorating contest
Let your employees go wild with pink creativity in their work spaces. Whether they have a cubicle, door, or whole hallway, encourage workers to spread awareness with their decorating skills. Employees can donate to participate, or just do it for fun. Have co-workers vote for the most creative space. You may award the winner with a prize — a paid day off, 50/50 raffle earnings, etc.
14. Provide education
Sharing these facts with your employees may save a life. Send them off in a newsletter, share this blog, or print a list to hang in the break room. The following facts are from the National Breast Cancer Foundation, Inc. and American Cancer Society, which offer excellent resources to learn more about breast cancer.
- Breast cancer is the most common cancer for women worldwide
- 1 in 8 women receive a breast cancer diagnosis
- On average, every 2 minutes a female is diagnosed with breast cancer
- 1 woman will die of breast cancer every 13 minutes
- Alcohol use increases the risk of breast cancer
- Over 3.3 million breast cancer survivors are alive in the U.S. today
- An estimated 2,470 men will be diagnosed with breast cancer
- 1 in 1,000 men will receive a breast cancer diagnosis
- Breast cancer occurrence and death rates generally increase with age
- Only 5-10% of individuals diagnosed have a family history of breast cancer
Sharing is Caring
No matter how your company leadership decides to acknowledge breast cancer awareness month, you’ll want employees to feel comfortable reaching out if they have questions. These ideas and activities are meant to be lighthearted while still spreading valuable information that can start the conversation — and save a life.
What will you do to spread breast cancer awareness in your office? Share below!
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