March 8 is International Women’s Day

Let’s hear it for the ladies! International Women’s Day (8th of March) is a global day celebrating the economic, political and social achievements of women past, present and future. For more information go to

Events are planned around the globe with the U.K. leading the way, followed by the U.S.A., Canada, Belize (!), and Australia and many others listed on the website.

We’re going to get a headstart here this week by turning the spotlight on a few extraordinarily ordinary women who had an idea, took on a challenge, and made good things happen. I just know you all know many other women who have done the same and I encourage you to show them some blog love this week … or any week for that matter! SHOUT IT OUT, LADIES!

The CANADIAN BREAST CANCER SUPPORT FUND is a new charitable organization. Its vision is to ease the burden of breast cancer patients who are facing financial difficulties. In fact, it’s so new you may not have heard of it yet … but you will! Their innovative approach is definitely going to attract a lot of attention, beginning with their motto: Green is the new pink.

Toronto native Donna Sheehan was the manager of a peer support program at Willow, a national charity that provides support and information about breast cancer. As she became more aware of the financial pressures that create hardship for many breast cancer patients and their families, she decided to focus on doing something to help alleviate those monetary challenges.

It’s one thing to cope with accepting a breast cancer diagnosis and the required treatment, but often we neglect to think of how the basic needs of an individual or family will be affected.

The cost of food, shelter, restorative therapies and treatments, childcare and even something as seemingly unimportant as parking can add up quickly, not to mention the strain of being off work for 8 to 10 months. Government benefits only provide support for 15 weeks and not everyone has access to private insurance coverage for short-term disability.

Although the funding arm for cancer research is well established, the funding arm for support is seriously lacking.  Donna, along with a very informed advisory committee as well as a board of directors, is doing her part to give this important issue a voice and a solution. Approved for status as a charitable organization, the past year has been spent establishing the framework necessary to allow CBCSF to swing into action very soon.

The “green” in their motto, Green is the new pink™, represents their intention to raise awareness about the links between breast cancer and the environment.

In one month’s time, Donna will be launching a new website called Holly and Ivy.The social enterprise will offer natural and organic skincare, cosmetics and personal care products all entirely free of toxic chemicals.

Keeping  toxic chemicals and carcinogens out of the environment by purchasing low-impact, earth-friendly products is another way we can all contribute to lessening their effect on our health.

Fifty percent of the profits from Holly and Ivy will be donated to the Canadian Breast Cancer Support Fund. The hope is that this contribution will cover the administrative costs and in time 100% of your donation will go directly to providing short-term financial support to needy breast cancer patients.  This is the dream.

 Look for the Holly and Ivy on-line store to go live March 31st or you can reach it by going to the “Think pink Live Green” page on the Support Fund web site.

Be sure to take time to read their excellent website. It provides a wealth of vital information and suggestions for your support and there’s a Facebook page for you to  *like* too!

In the spirit of paying it forward consider giving up your grande Caramel Frappacino or Expresso Macchiato or your regular coffee (double, double) on Fridays and instead make a $5.00 donation to Canadian Breast Cancer Support Fund. Five Dollar Fridays Rock!


So three cheers to Donna for being a woman with a vision and making good things happen. Well done!

I’m adding here a link to a powerful movie, “Pink Ribbons, Inc” , featured at the Toronto International Film Festival last year and recently released and still available at some selected theatres.  It addresses the highly controversial subject of “cause marketing” and informs us about “pinkwashing” and the involvement of corporations in fundraising and the impact this has had on charities.

Tell me about a woman you know who is making a difference. We can do our bit by spreading the word. Celebrate International Women’s Day on Thursday … and every day after that! Why not?

Published by patriciasands

Patricia Sands lives in Toronto, Canada when she isn't somewhere else, particularly the south of France. With a happily blended family of seven adult children and, at last count, six grandchildren, life is full and time is short. Beginning with her first Kodak Brownie camera at the age of six, she has told stories all of her life through photography. Much to her surprise a few years ago, she began to write and has now published three novels, including two that are part of a six-book series set in the south of France. Love France? Love her work! Check out her website She is particularly drawn to the rewarding friendships of women and the challenges many embrace once their families are grown. "It's never too late to begin something new," she enthuses. "As the saying goes, just do it!"

22 thoughts on “March 8 is International Women’s Day

  1. Awesome post, Patricia! When I lived in Poland, it was hard to miss International Women’s Day — you’d see people walking around with flowers all day. Here in the States, it’s not well-known or much celebrated. Here’s hoping to change that!

    1. Emmie, you lived in Poland? We need to talk – I was born and raised there! You are right – the International Women’s Day is HUGE in Poland 🙂

      Tameri and Patricia – fabulous posts. I wish more people would emphasize the importance of going green.

  2. You know I love supporting and spreading the word about amazing women, Patricia! Love this post! I will check out the organic skin care items…for myself and my daughter (she’s an esthetician who could also recommend them to her clients).

    I have a very close girlfriend who lost her sister-in-law last year to Lymphoma after struggling to beat it for years. My friend is dedicated to raising awareness and funds for research into all blood cancers. She motivates and leads people in the Light The Night Walks and keeps awareness up all year long.

    One of my male cousins is a hemophiliac. We’re very close and I’ve worried about him his whole life. His eldest daughter, (who is also a hemophiliac) works as hard as my friend to raise awareness and funds for research into wiping out this blood disorder, or at least for making it easier to live with.

    Wonderful post, Patricia!

  3. AMAZING!!! I LOVE it!!! Love everything about it and the sale of Green products to support the admin cost – genius! I can’t WAIT till they go live. I’ve been pondering the switch to green cosmetic products for awhile now but didn’t know where to shop…BINGO!!
    I will definitely be supporting this cause Patricia – Donna and her team are doing simply outstanding work! Thank you so much for sharing the deets!! Woot woot!!!

    1. Good for you, Natalie. It’s important for us to become aware of these kinds of products and determine what works for us. Donna will certainly appreciate us sharing the information.

  4. Great post Patricia! Way to toot all women’s horns! In my sales position, I’ve taken part in Support the Girls as well as other events for Susan G. Komen for the Cure. I don’t manage the intimate apparel dept any longer but I’m still a huge advocate for the events they do. Working in intimate apparel was one of my favorite things because you meet so many women and hear so many stories and honestly, you’re changing lives in that dressing room!

    1. Jess, I love your comment about “changing lives in that dressing room”. So true. It’s amazing how much we can assist by listening to other people’s stories, validating them, and offering help in one way or another.

  5. What an amazing post, Patricia! I’m telling you, you are the most fabulous woman I know. You are always championing great causes! I love the ‘Support the Girls’ logo. Heck yes I can donate $5 for this worthy group. I’m going to reblog this post on March 8th if you don’t mind. Of course, that means I have to go back and read Carrie’s post on reblogging…

    Thanks again for bringing to my attention something I’ve never heard about. Shame on me, but yay for me that I know about it now!

    1. Thanks! I’m looking forward to the website too. What impresses me about this organization is the fact that they are addressing some very real problems that go beyond the treatment. It’s tough enough to have to deal with medical issues without realizing you may not have enough money to buy groceries for your family.

  6. Reblogged this on Tameri Etherton and commented:
    I don’t normally blog on Thursday, but today is International Women’s Day and my friend and WANA sista Patricia Sands had an amazing post and I just had to share. Patricia is a Rock Star to me because she is always fighting for great causes. She’s the type of woman that DOES things and not just talks about doing it. She encouraged us to show incredible women blog love this week and here’s my heart on the page.

    Happy International Women’s Day! I hope you enjoy Patricia’s post and will get out there to make something happen in your neck of the universe.

    1. Hey Tameri, thanks so much for the reblog! I love how we are all so supportive about getting important messages out there in the blogosphere! I know you are one woman who is always doing something to make life better and it’s just one of the reasons I love you.

  7. Fantastic post, Patricia. My cousin recently finished treatment for breast cancer. She’s in her twenties and was pregnant at the time. I’m grateful to say that early diagnosis allowed successful care…and she’s now the mother of a healthy baby girl.

    Posts and celebrations like these are so important!

    1. I’m so glad to hear of your cousin’s success. I’m always shocked when I hear of such young women being afflicted with this dreadful disease. One of our daughters also battled successfully and it truly is a war in which we all become engaged. Let’s keep fighting to eradicate it as much as we can. Congratulations too on a new member of your family! Double joy in your message!

  8. Wow. Wonderful post Patricia. My aunt just went through treatment. She’s back at work now, but it’s never really over. You’re always looking over your shoulder, watching for it to come back for a second go around. This is something I have only become aware of in more recent years since cancer became more prevalent in my family. I’m so proud of you, blogging to make others aware.

    1. Thanks Debra. I’m sorry to hear about your aunt. We fought the battle with one of our daughters too. You’re right about always watching over your shoulder. Sometimes it feels like an epidemic, doesn’t it? Keep spreading the word!

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