Latina Avon Sales Representatives and Nueva Vida Unified Fighting Breast Cancer
by Ingrid Ortega
For Avon Representatives, caring about women's issues goes beyond cosmetics. Avon is the company for women and known for its continued commitment in the improvement of women's health as much as it is for the enhancement of their outward appearance. As such, Avon Representatives teamed up with Nueva Vida, a non-profit organization and Avon Breast Cancer Crusade Grantee, to empower Latinas in the fight against breast cancer.
Nueva Vida is a Washington, DC/Virginia-based charitable entity dedicated to breaking down the barriers that prevent Latinas from accessing breast cancer quality services. Breast cancer is the leading cause of death among Latinas and screening rates are the lowest of any other ethnic group.
On October 3, kicking off Breast Cancer Awareness Month and in celebration of Hispanic Heritage Day on October 15, Avon Representatives and Nueva Vida staff partnered with George Washington Hospital and set up a mobile mammography van, offering free mammograms. Nueva Vida coordinated the supply of the mobile mammography unit for the screenings, as well as the medical support. Being both a location with an AVON 39 walk city, as well as an area with a largely Hispanic population, Alexandria, Virginia was the perfect place to connect with hard-to-reach, underserved Hispanic women.
Nueva Vida identified potential candidates, scheduled the screenings, and processed the medical intakes. They also helped clients navigate through the sometimes confusing health care system in order to receive proper care. In total, 25 women boarded the mobile mammography unit and received free mammograms - normally a service that many Hispanic women do not have access to due to complications with transportation, finances, or lack of awareness.
"We were so thankful to team up with George Washington Hospital, and we had active participation from the community," said Astrid Jimenez, Nueva Vida's Executive Director. "We were so proud of the turnout and how everyone came together for this important initiative. We saved lives."
Vilma Nuñez, an Avon Representative and mother of an employee at Nueva Vida, was at the event. She committed to donating a portion of the proceeds from the sale of one of her Avon products to Nueva Vida. "That donation is a way to show my appreciation and support for Nueva Vida - an extremely important organization that provides health assistance to cancer patients and their families who have scarce economic resources," said Nuñez.
Donated funds, such as those provided by Ms. Nuñez, help Nueva Vida make their awareness programs, free mammograms, and cancer care initiatives accessible to Latinas.
Avon's involvement in preventing and treating breast cancer is nothing new. The company, through the Avon Breast Cancer Crusade, has been supporting education, screening, diagnosis, and care for decades.
"I'm so proud to represent Avon - a company that is so focused on the issues that matter most to women," said Mariela Elias, an Avon District Manager in Virginia and event attendee. "I support Nueva Vida's cause, wholeheartedly, and look forward to supporting them, and touching the lives of so many local Latinas, in the future."