During the month of October, an abundance of bras take their place alongside the beautiful bouquets found at Dandelions Flowers and Gifts in Eugene to support Lane County cancer patients. Owner Krystal Vincent and her staff rearrange the shop to showcase the many Bras for Cause entries that make this colorful fundraiser possible.
“We have some customers who come in, take a look around the store, and they are really curious about what we’re actually selling here,” Krystal says.
This year, 84 eye-catching bras were created by businesses and individuals to benefit Oregon Cancer Foundation (OCF) to be voted on throughout the month.
“It’s crazy how many bras we get each year and how we find space for them all,” says Dandelions employee ShariAnn Claric. “The community really stepped up this year. They’re supporting each other and it’s amazing to see it.”
Lending a helping hand
This year, the goal is to raise $120,000 to support OCF’s Financial Assistance Program, its support groups and classes, as well as the foundation’s Freezer Meals Program, which provides slow-cooker meals to patients in Lane County, to help them feed themselves and their families when they don’t feel up to cooking.
“The number one complaint we hear from patients is that they’re exhausted,” says Joanne Middleton, a registered nurse with Willamette Valley Cancer Institute. “Their taste buds are different and they’re not hungry. So, to have these meals available to them, to fix for their families, is invaluable.”
“What’s great about Oregon Cancer Foundation is that it’s not just for patients with breast cancer or lymphoma or leukemia. It helps anyone who is a cancer patient in Lane County who needs that assistance,” ShariAnn says.
OCF’s financial assistance program helps patients in many ways, says Executive Director Amy Johnston. “We’re coming into the cold months of the year, when utility bills go up. Someone who was doing OK financially, even last month, can find themselves in a pinch, and we’re here to help them when they need it.”
How to support the cause
To see all of this year’s Bras for Cause entries and to vote, click here. Many of the bras are on display at Dandelions Flowers & Gifts, while a select group is being showcased at Valley River Center in Eugene. Vote for your favorite creations online through October 31—$1 dollar = one vote, and you can vote as many times as you’d like. All funds raised support Lane County cancer patients through Oregon Cancer Foundation.
Krystal says she’s honored to help support local cancer patients by displaying the bras at her shop. “I can only imagine what it’s like trying to handle your finances and keep everything straight while battling cancer,” Krystal says. “So, it feels really great to be a part of a campaign to make things a little easier on our friends and family members who are experiencing that.”