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Ribbons are an iconic symbol of raising awareness for a certain cause, and the brightly colored autism awareness ribbon is no exception.
It's no surprise, then, that people affected by or passionate about autism would want to show it off on their car, keychain, clothing, or just about anywhere else you can think of. And there is no shortage of supply for these individuals; a simple Google search will pull up a multitude of companies selling the autism awareness ribbon in many forms of products.
But where does the money from these sales go?
A large portion goes into the pockets of sellers, but that doesn't make sense. If companies are going to advocate a cause by selling related products, they should also donate a portion of the proceeds to relevant, charitable organizations. That way, consumers would not just be taking pride in their cause; they would be helping their cause, as well.
Tell Jessica Rich, the Director of the Federal Trade Commission's Bureau of Consumer Protection: the awareness ribbon isn't just a piece of merchandise that companies can profit from!
Dear Director Rich:
Autism awareness ribbons are a good way for parents, teachers, and advocates to show pride in their cause. However, a number of companies are taking advantage of this to make a profit. They sell products emblazoned with the autism awareness ribbon but pocket all the proceeds.
This is unacceptable. If a company is indirectly supporting a cause by selling autism awareness merchandise, they should also make an effort to donate at least a portion of their sales proceeds to autism charities.
For this reason, I ask that those who sell merchandise with autism awareness ribbons should be required to give a portion of their merchandise sales to charitable autism organizations. The autism awareness ribbon should not be used to line companies pockets.