Eric and Aidan Gilbert play for The Center for Transparency

Father and Son inspired through participation in PwP to Give to Causes Greater than Themselves

We can only imagine how unbelievable Father’s Day must have been in the Gilbert household this weekend. Not only were Father and Son able to share how much they appreciate one another, they were also able to review their outstanding performance in the Novice Class of this year’s PwP Competition. At the beginning of 2015, Eric Gilbert and his 8 year-old son, Aidan, set a New Year’s resolution to give to causes greater than themselves. While so many others have reverted back to their old eating habits and cancelled gym memberships, the pair continue to expand their philanthropic impact.

Aidan has been so inspired through his participation in PwP. He decided that his Leaderboard worthy portfolio performance wasn’t enough and that he felt compelled to help make a difference in the lives of so many young boys who are impacted by Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD). He has helped raise money towards a movie, telling the story of the boys and their families trying to get a proven safe treatment approved by the FDA. He has since launched his ‘Letters for Legos’ initiative to get other young boys to write letters to the FDA and build Legos for those with DMD who can't or are losing their ability to do so. Please check out their Facebook page (Giving to Causes Greater Than Ourselves) and see the Jett Foundation (one of PwP’s 2014 winning charities) for further information.

Eric and Aidan’s Charity Selection

At the inception of this year’s PwP competition, Eric reconnected with one of his longtime high school friends, Bobbie Shay, who was diagnosed with breast cancer. He requested adding her charity, the Center For Transparency, to the PwP platform. The center is a new organization aimed at promoting transparency in the sale of retail products and services that rely on the promise that a percentage from a consumer's purchase will go towards charity.

About The Center for Transparency

The Center for Transparency is dedicated to providing clarity regarding the profits and contributions made through cause-related marketing campaigns. What started with a question about the funds generated by the NFL’s “Crucial Catch” breast cancer campaign has grown into an organization that will work to reward companies who are completely open about their campaigns and exactly how much money will be contributed to their selected nonprofits.

In November of 1998, while performing for the NFL at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Fla., Bobbie Shay abruptly left the field in the middle of the game. She was just 25 at the time but had already endured two surgeries, completed seven straight weeks of radiation, attended mandatory practices three times a week and cheered through four games before she threw down her pom-poms for a bigger dream. She lost her energy to continue standing on the sidelines fighting cancer while team officials challenged the validity of her battle.

In 2010, uninsured and facing what would total more than 30 hours of reconstructive surgery, there were simply no funds available to alleviate the medical bills for her or other women undergoing necessary care as a result of breast cancer.  She ultimately would have to pay for her treatment in cash to receive care. In total, she's had 23 surgeries over the last 18 years.

Pink Campaign Farce

During October, National Breast Cancer Awareness Month—and also the middle of football season—Bobbie Shay flipped from channel to channel and saw people in the stands dressed in pink, the players wearing pink mouth-guards, pink cleats, pink socks, pink wristbands, etc. Even the cheerleaders were holding pink pom-pons.

She knew the pink propaganda didn’t really aid the end cause. A corporation may claim that a sizable portion of net proceeds from pink products go to benefit breast cancer research, but increasingly, it’s become evident that this isn’t the case. A report released last year by Business Insider, found the NFL donates only 8 percent of sales to breast cancer research.

Sitting at home with limited financial resources, she found herself reminiscing about her time and the hypocrisy of her experiences. The Center for Transparency was borne out of the need to create new mandates at the federal level to protect consumers from disingenuous promises about the charitable impact, no matter the beneficiary. Its mission is based on checking the FACTS.

F  - Find the disclosure on the label, What’s the promise?
A - Assume nothing. Retailers and service providers will often choose a color, or theme, to help you draw the conclusion it is tied to a charitable cause.
C - Clear, measurable, contribution details should be present on all labels. Beware of ambiguous words like “Percentage of" or “Net Proceeds."
T - Tax exempt organization should be listed clearly as the beneficiary of your purchase. Know where your money is going.
S - Satisfaction is up to you. Use the information provided on packaging and labels to determine if enough information has been provided to earn your investment. It is your consumer right to decide how you will invest your money through your purchase.

Saundra Marcel