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A Fashionable Means to a Charitable End?


Charities can't solely rely on appealling to the public's conscience for donations anymore.

There are too many not-for-profits to choose from - approximately 80,000 in Canada. Talk about some fierce charitable competition for much-needed research dollars.

So how does the average Torontonian choose where to donate what's in their sometimes empty pockets?

Not-for-profits are making it easier for us to decide by catering to our need to shop. It's now a game of scratch my back and I'll cover yours with a trendy Roots T-shirt emblazoned with green target. Or you can sport the latest silicone bracelet just in time for Pride.

Enter the Toronto Eaton Centre Rainbow Bracelet sold exclusively at the mall during Pride Week.

To mark Pride's 25th anniversary, the Toronto Eaton Centre Rainbow Bracelet sells for $5 with all proceeds going to the AIDS Committee of Toronto (ACT).

Building on Lance Armstrong's 'Live Strong' momentum, the silicone bracelets offer a new spin by incorporating all of the colours in the Pride rainbow.

Only 5,500 of the limited edition bracelets are available, and the mall's Guest Services Info Desk representative said yesterday, the bracelets are "selling very well." (However, she couldn't reveal exact numbers.)

They hope to raise over $25,000 during Pride Week (June 20 to June 26, 2005).

So does it matter we're becoming consumers first and charitable citizens second? Does the end justify the lucrative means? I could console myself that I'm making a purchase for a good cause, but who am I kidding?

The brightly coloured bracelet will highlight my tan at this weekend's march.

Whether you want to scoop up a bracelet before they're sold out or buy one for charity, head to the Toronto Eaton Centre's second level beside the Guest Services Info Desk, near Centre Court.


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