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Q. How prevalent is breast cancer in the United States?

A. * Breast cancer incidence in women is 1 in 8 (13%) over a lifetime.


Q. How does breast cancer compare to other cancers that women experience?

A. * For women in the U.S., breast cancer death rates are higher than those for any other cancer besides lung cancer. Besides skin cancer, breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer. 1 in 4 cancers are breast cancer.


Q. Are there more survivors now due to improved care and early detection?

A. * Yes! In 2010, there were more than 2.5 million breast cancer survivors in the U.S.


Q. Do men get breast cancer?

A. * Yes, however, less than 1% of all new breast cancer cases occur in men.


Q. How was Hope Chest for Breast Cancer established?

A. After losing her two sisters to breast cancer, Hope Chest for Breast Cancer Founder Barbara Hensley became painfully aware of the challenges faced by under-served women experiencing breast cancer. The combined six-year struggle of her sisters was devastating to Barbara. In 2001, Barbara resigned her corporate executive position and founded the Hope Chest for Breast Cancer, where she drives our commitment to make a difference.


Q. What makes Hope Chest for Breast Cancer different from other breast cancer charities?

A. Our programs help women and their families in the Twin Cities area and collaborate with local hospitals,  treatment centers, clinics and other human service organizations to administer Hope Chest Emergency Assistance programs. These collaborating partners have the capacity to identify breast cancer patients that are under financial distress.

Our assistance is made available at the urgency of the patient. By collaborating with our strategic partners we are able to distribute help immediately, on the spot, without a lengthy qualification process.

The Hope Chest for Breast Cancer business model is a combination of a not-for-profit foundation and for-profit retail stores that generate income to support charitable programs within the Twin Cities area. The business model includes a built-in revenue stream that helps to create an ongoing, sustainable contribution for the Foundation’s emergency assistance programs in the Twin Cities area.


Q. How does Hope Chest for Breast Cancer get the funds directly to these women?

A. The Hope Chest works directly with the treatment centers, nurse navigators and physicians who have the opportunity to learn the needs of the patients and can immediately respond with Hope Chest assistance funds to the patient.


Q. Why shouldn’t I give my donations directly to those other organizations?

A. Hope Chest for Breast Cancer has the capability to bring resources together to address the needs of women experiencing breast cancer. Rather than replicating complex infrastructures, we choose to fund them through our annual grant process to ensure funds and services get directly to the underserved women in our community.


Q. How much money has Hope Chest donated to women experiencing breast cancer?

A. The Hope Chest for Breast Cancer has provided $1 million to approximately 2,000 families in the Twin Cities area over the last 10 years.


Q. Does Hope Chest for Breast Cancer operate outside of Minnesota?

A. We have a long-range strategic plan to establish Hope Chest in all 50 states. We are currently operating only in MN in the Twin Cities area.


Q. What relationship do the Hope Chest Retail Stores have with the foundation and fundraising for women in need?

A. Our unique business model includes a combination of a not-for-profit foundation and for-profit retail stores. The Hope Chest retail sell donated, high-end women's clothing and accessories, as well as upscale furniture and home decor accessories. Hope Chest stores are able to sell items at a fraction of the cost because all of the merchandise, from evening wear to end tables, is donated from individuals or corporations. A percentage of revenue provides an ongoing revenue stream to the Hope Chest for Breast Cancer Foundation to help fund our programs.


Q. Why would I want to shop at the Hope Chest Retail Stores?

A. The Hope Chest retail shops are open seven days a week and sell donated high-end women's clothing and accessories as well as upscale furniture and home decor accessories. Our retail stores sell merchandise at a fraction of retail cost because all items — from evening wear to end tables — are donated from individuals or retail stores. Currently there are two retail stores located in the Twin Cities; one in Orono/Navarre, a western suburb of Minneapolis, and one in St. Paul near Snelling Avenue and Interstate 94. The mantra of our retail stores is "Excellent quality, excellent buys...all for an excellent cause."


Q. Besides the Retail Stores, how does the Foundation raise critical funds?

A. The Hope Chest raises money from individual and business donations through our giving circles. We also raise money through different fundraisers throughout the year: The Galleria Fashion Show in May, our Putt for the Pink Golf Tournament in June and our Year of Hope Calendar.  In 2011 we have a new event at Canterbury Park called Fillies Race for Hope. We also partner of fundraising activities with businesses, retailers, restaurants, associations and organizations.


Q. How can I get involved in supporting Hope Chest for Breast Cancer?

A. There are many volunteer opportunities with Hope Chest, including our fundraisers, helping out in the stores or helping out in the foundation offices. You can also help us out by making a financial donation or donating furniture, clothing or accessories. Check out our website for opportunities at GET INVOLVED page or contact Cathy at or 952-471-8700 ext 17.


Q. I am interested in making a donation to Hope Chest but need to confirm IRS 501 (c) (3) status and obtain Federal Tax ID #.  How can I get this information?

A. We have all the required documentation confirming Hope Chest for Breast Cancer Foundation as a 501 (c) (3) non-profit.  Please contact  to obtain this information or documentation.


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