If you want to make a donation of food or money, or volunteer your time this season reach out to Second Harvest, a great organization that puts people and food together in times of need.
If you know someone who might be going hungry, find help for them by calling Second Harvest Food Bank at 209-239-2091 and learn how you can help with feeding the hungry in your area.
Link to the Second Harvest Web site HERE
As the season of the sun revves-up it's easy to feel the lure of our beautiful central valley weather and our thriving outdoor lifestyle. Whether it's shopping at a flea market or spending a few hours at the ballpark, being outside "soaking up some rays" seems like a safe and fun way to recharge our batteries.
There is lots of evidence that being out in the sun, even on a cloudy day, is actually one of the UNhealthest things you can do - especially if you are a 'person of color.'
There are some recent articles that explain the threat (hit the links below). Rates of skin cancer are going sky-higher among people of brown-skinned races because most either don't understand the threat or believe that their skin color gives them immunity.
Culture and upbringing play a role as well. Fair-skinned people are often more coached about the dangers of the sun and tend to use sun-screen more; people of color tend to have backgrounds that emphasize outdoor work (i.e. construction or farm jobs) and play (sports), so we often become "people of the sun" with little-to-no exposure to cautionary messages about proper sun behavior. We weren't taught - and we aren't teaching our kids! The reality is - kids who were shown pictures of skin damage actually worked harder at avoiding sun exposure - see the link below.
Melanoma often shows up differently in people of color so their rate of fatality from skin cancer is higher because it often goes undetected and untreated until it reaches the later stages. Melanoma WILL spread cancer cells to other areas of your body - it's what killed Bob Marley.
Often the benefits of sun-bathing are overstated (especially by the people trying to sell you tanning booth time!). There are way-safer means of getting vitamin D than sun exposure. And the trade-off of getting your vitamins from the sun? "Changed skin color" means you've killed lots of your skin cells, which in turn accelerates free radical damage (aging) and alters your DNA - the by-product of which can be the creation of carcinogens. Not to mention the depletion of collagen from your skin - the protein that gives your skin its' soft, elastic nature (ever heard Cameo sing "Alligator Woman?").
Of course the skin lotion people would have you believe that you can just slap-on some moisturizer and you're good to go - in reality what you apply to your skin will never penetrate deep enough to replenish the cumulative effects of baking your skin cells. Collagen can't be absorbed thru the skin, even though it is hyped as an ingredient in many cosmetics. Same with the SPF factor in make-up. Unless you are putting M•A•C all over your body don't believe the hype that your face paint is protecting you from sun damage!
When out in the sun I'm a firm believer in light-colored, long-sleeve shirts, long pants and hats! And if you are searching for me at the park look first under the biggest shade tree and work your way down!
Sure everyone has to die sometime, but I will wait for something else (more fun) to catch-up to me and not let the big, yellow monster cook me to a long, slow, wrinkly death!
Remember – there is NO safe tan!
Check out these links: