Last month, Shango continued its battle against breast cancer armed with generous donations from the company, its customers and its employees in three states. Shango began supporting breast cancer charities five years ago at its dispensary in Portland, Oregon, and has since expanded its fundraising efforts to communities in Nevada and California.

“Shango believes in building long-term relationships with purposeful local charities,” said Shango Controller Julie Dubocq. “We seek out charities in the same communities as our dispensaries. This helps us get to know the people who work for each charity and become directly involved in its mission and fundraising.”

Shango dispensaries sell its signature line of pink merchandise year-round to raise money for worthwhile organizations that serve cancer patients and survivors, as well as their families and caregivers. They also accept direct donations and employee contributions. One hundred percent of all pink merchandise profits and other donations benefit Shango’s breast cancer charitable partners.

However, despite Shango’s strong commitment and good intentions, it’s not always easy to find charities that will actually accept its donations. Many local and national breast cancer charities refuse money raised by cannabis companies and/or from the sale of cannabis products.

Cannabis companies are respected, successful businesses, cannabis sales generate significant tax revenue in the majority of states and medical benefits of cannabis are now widely recognized. But for some reason, the misperception of “weed” as a danger to users and society persists, at least in some boardrooms and donor databases.

In these financially challenging times when many breast cancer charities are having difficulty raising funds, they should welcome donations from every legitimate business, especially cannabis companies whose products can make a significant, positive difference in the quality of life for breast cancer patients and survivors.

Shango is honored to partner with three enlightened, life-changing charities to serve the needs of breast cancer patients and survivors, as well as their caregivers and families: Breast Friends located near Portland, The Caring Place in Las Vegas and The Pink Ribbon Place in Riverside, California.

Breast Friends Co-Founder Becky Olson, who passed away recently after her fourth bout with breast cancer, initiated the relationship with Shango five years ago and said at the time, “Shango has given us a whole new perspective on cannabis. We are glad they found us. Our position has always been that breast cancer doesn’t discriminate, and neither do we.”

This year, Shango initiated the annual Becky Olson Courage Award to honor a breast cancer survivor who best exemplifies its meaning. The first recipient, Pamela George, received check for $1,000 and a $250 gift card from Shango.

Her name has been inscribed on plaques to hang permanently at Shango Portland and the Breast Friends headquarters in Tigard, Oregon. The plaque reads, “In honor of their profound valor and steadfast perseverance, Breast Friends and Shango of Oregon present Pamela George with the 2021 Becky Olson Courage Award.”

“Breast Friends is so appreciative of the generosity and support of Shango,” said Allison Hancock, executive director of Breast Friends. “The Becky Olson Courage Award is beautiful and the recipient that we chose to receive the award was overwhelmed and very thankful for the check that was given to her. The money will be very helpful to cover the cost of unexpected expenses. It helps to ease the worry and exhaustion of navigating a cancer diagnosis and the financial stress that comes along, too.” 

“Shango is honored to serve these brave cancer survivors,” Dubocq said. “Providing resources that can help them succeed on their journey to recovery has become an essential part of our charitable giving.”

The Caring Place is an adult services program provided by the Nevada Childhood Cancer Foundation. It offers more than 40 programs to assist families that are battling the challenges of caring for loved ones touched by cancer, particularly breast cancer.

All at no cost.

2021 is the year of the partnership between Shango and The Caring Place. The Shango Las Vegas dispensary donated $2,500 to aid the program’s breast cancer patients and their families.

“We are so very grateful to Shango for this generous donation,” said Jeff Gordon, President/CEO of The Nevada Childhood Cancer Foundation. “These dollars will go directly into one of the most important programs at The Caring Place to help those who have been devastated by the costs involved in treatment.”

“Funding programs like The Caring Place is an integral part of our overall commitment to the Las Vegas community,” Shango Founder and CEO Brandon Rexroad said. “Providing program assistance to those in crisis is the one of the most effective ways we can help breast cancer survivors.”

Shango’s new partnership with The Pink Ribbon Place in Riverside, yielded a $1,500 donation raised from Shango pink merchandise sales during National Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

The Pink Ribbon Place serves breast cancer patients, family members and primary caregivers near Shango’s Moreno Valley dispensary. It offers counseling to help build the skills and confidence needed to cope with the emotional hardships on the difficult journey from breast cancer diagnosis and treatment to recovery and remission.

“The Pink Ribbon Place team is so grateful for businesses like Shango, whose teams truly understand the value of giving back to charities who offer direct services,” said Terri Akens, Director of Community Health Programs. “These efforts directly impact our ability to continue offering quality services at no cost to individuals and families impacted by cancer throughout the Inland Empire.”

Shango also does battle against breast cancer inside its dispensaries. 

“If someone fighting cancer needs special attention, we will give it to them,” Dubocq said. “And we’ll help them understand how cannabis can be a powerful ally in their fight.”