October is breast cancer awareness month, which means now is a great time to support organizations in our community. Beware of companies that advertise so-called “pink products” that promote breast cancer awareness to increase sales, but may not donate any proceeds to charities or foundations. Instead, give back to those look for a cureinvesting in clinical trials and providing resources for cancer patients.

If you don’t want to donate part of your salary to larger organizations, consider the following local ways to donate. Remember, it takes a village.

1. Give money directly to organizations

Susan G. Komen is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to charities supporting breast cancer research. There are many national and local organizations to consider when donating money. Here are some Houston-based options:

  • Kelsey Research Foundation: This non-profit organization facilitates collaborative research initiatives between the Kelsey-Seybold Clinic and institutions of the Texas Medical Center. The clinic provides ongoing care to approximately half a million Houstonians each year, with more than one million clinic visits to 31 locations in the greater Houston metropolitan area.
  • cancer survivor angels: This organization’s mission is to “enlighten, empower, encourage and educate” the community while helping those battling the disease. A donation to CSA helps with the financial, emotional and spiritual cost to those affected.
  • canopy: Memorial Hermann Health System offers many specialty programs and Canopy is the first cancer survivorship center of its kind. Located on the campus of Woodlands Medical Center, Canopy offers a wide variety of free programs and services that meet the emotional, physical, and social needs of people affected by cancer.

2. Donate your time

Located near the MD Anderson Cancer Center, Dan’s House of Hope is a home away from home for teens and young adults who receive care at hospitals at the nationally renowned Texas Medical Center in Houston. More than just housing, DHOH is a community for young adults in treatment and beyond, providing free stays for cancer patients and their caregivers. Volunteer activities include staffing events, technical and administrative support, and more.

Houston Methodistwhich is home to five nationally recognized cancer programs, is constantly looking for volunteers to help in Baytown, Clear Lake, Sugar Land and their other hospitals.

3. Host a virtual fundraiser

In addition to accepting donations and finding volunteers, MD Anderson makes it easy to start an online fundraiser. Via the center’s virtual systemyou can encourage your friends and family to donate while raising breast cancer awareness through social media.

Baylor College of Medicine has a similar process: you can start your own fundraiser at the touch of a button or give to an already created.

4. Be active in research

MD Anderson hosts annual conference Boot Walk to Beat Cancer—This year falls on November 5th. The goal? To give cancer the boot, of course. (You are also encouraged to wear any type of boot you want for this walk.) All funds raised from the walk go directly to patient programs, research, prevention and education.

Want to go even further, literally? The Jack Savage Foundation Ski-a-thon will take place in February 2023 and will take place in South Lake Tahoe. All proceeds will go to pediatric patients at MD Anderson’s Children’s Cancer Hospital.

5. Ask Amazon to donate for you

If you buy on Amazon and you don’t do it with a Smile account, why? The St. Luke’s Foundation makes it remarkably easy to donate a portion of your Amazon purchases to their mission.

6. Give blood

Hospitals like MD Anderson require blood donations for cancer patients who may have low levels of red blood cells, platelets or plasma proteins. The center holds frequent community blood drives, or you can make an appointment to make a donation in one of their three centers.

7. Be personal

A loved one is undergoing cancer treatment? Contact them to see if they have a GoFundMe page, ask if there are any helpful items from Amazon they might need for treatments, or give them a meal delivery gift card (like Uber eats Where Grubhub) for easy meals later.