Are some charity bracelets bogus? - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Are some charity bracelets bogus?

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July 22, 2005
By: Liz Crenshaw

Undated-- It started with a thin, yellow band of rubber sold for one dollar. Now, 50 million dollars later, the livestrong bracelet from the Lance Armstrong Foundation lives strong on wrists around the world.

However, the yellow bracelet has created a rainbow of imitators. You can give your arm to Puerto Rico, or Jamaica. You can support the class of 2005, or live for him. You can also buy bracelets to show your concern about Autism, Aids, Leukemia, poverty, even musicians for mental health. But where's does the money go?

We also found them all over the Internet. We got hundreds of yellow bracelet hits on ebay, and found hundreds more for sale on Google. But experts say, if you buy your bracelet this way, people with cancer are almost certainly not benefiting, no matter what the seller promises.

The Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation, which sells pink bracelets, says consumers should ask five questions if they want their bracelet money to actually benefit charity. Is the cause meaningful to you? Is the seller committed to the cause? Who does the bracelet sale benefit? How much of the proceeds actually goes to charity? How does the charity spend the money? It says you should do a little research to find out. Otherwise, your armful of support may actually be supporting a bogus bracelet scam.

The colored bracelet craze is also taking over the sports world with some professional baseball teams now selling them. Teams like the Chicago Cubs and the White Socks do donate the money to charity.

For more information on the livestrong bracelets by the Lance Armstrong Foundation.

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