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Creating community through sisterhood

For over six years now, the Pink Ribbon Girls, or PRG, have been empowering women to fight cancer one diagnosis at a time.
(Pink Ribbon Girls)

By Panera Bread Company

October was Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and one organization helped lead the fight for awareness and support for women diagnosed with breast and gynecological cancers. For over six years now, the Pink Ribbon Girls, or PRG, have been doing something pretty remarkable – coming alongside women to empower them to fight cancer one diagnosis at a time. Through their collective efforts, they have developed a care network that provides support for women in Ohio who face these types of cancer.

The founders of PRG recognized that there is strength in numbers and created a community that surrounds the individual with love, care, and support, allowing the patient to put everything they have into their individual fight. Their motto, No One Travels This Road Alone, fuels the organization mission, which provides healthy meals, house cleaning, transportation to doctors’ appointments and a peer group support for women who have been diagnosed.

The organization was also founded by women who themselves were diagnosed with one of these cancers and found that fighting alone more difficult than joining in community. The philosophy behind No One Travels This Road Alone is balancing “the fear and uncertainty that breast and gynecological cancers bring to individuals and families”, by providing services that are limited by fatigue and illness associated with cancer treatments. Having been through the fight themselves, the PRG team brings that sense of urgency and community together to support both the patient and their families through this journey.

But PRG cannot fulfill this mission alone. As a grassroots nonprofit organization, PRG relies on volunteers and corporate partners to carry out the mission. Volunteers can help in amany ways, including working PRG events, fundraising efforts, individual contributions, and providing support to the program recipients. Corporate partners, such as Covelli Entrprises, the largest Panera Bread franchisee, provide additional fundraising support for PRG through product placement and awareness campaigns in their bakery-cafés.

For example, Covelli Enterprises launched its 18th annual month-long Pink Ribbon Bagel campaign this past October in all Panera Bread bakery-cafés in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month. The roughly $30,000 in proceeds from this campaign will go directly to Pink Ribbon Girls, providing funding for meals, wheels, cleaning and support to women in Ohio. Each participating Panera location will also provide the “Round Up” program, which allows customers to round up their total to donate to the PRG cause.

Though Breast Cancer Awareness month is in October, please consider joining the fight any time of the year. You can donate your time or financial support directly to the Pink Ribbon Girls at pinkribbongirls.org.