I’ve been meaning to post about our time at Gilda’s Club for awhile now but just didn’t get around to finishing it since it’s been so busy. But here’s a little bit about a great day that we had supporting this terrific organization!
On November 12, 2011, we were privileged to present our products on the Health and Wellness day atthe Gilda’s Club in NYC. Since opening, GCNYC has offered a place where men, women and children living with cancer – and their families and friends – can join together to build social and emotional support as a supplement to medical care. The Health and Wellness Day was created to bring in counselors and industry experts to provide information and consultations for its members to improve their health and lifestyles.
We arrived early to set up for the day. To my surprise, I saw that most of the volunteers were young women and that there were few men volunteers. It is wonderful to see young people taking their Saturday off to care for those living with cancer. I did not have time to get to know them but they were all very pleasant. There were two persons I had the pleasure to get to know a little more. One was the coordinator of the event, Lydia. She is also a young lady that clearly gave her whole heart to the community members tirelessly running around to make sure everyone was fine without even having a chance to sit down. I think she deserves a huge thumps up. Another one was a volunteer for the event named Kelvin who was one of the photographers. He’s also a lawyer like my son. He was taking his valuable time to serve people in need. I think his time was well spent. He made a lot of ladies smile in He was very pleasant and helpful, also taking pictures with great passion. I think all of the volunteers deserved to be praised.
I understand that cancer adds tremendous pressure to the patients as well as to the families. Dealing and coping with the uncertainty of what the future will hold can be quite distressful. This stress can contribute to a lot of dryness to the skin along with other factors to create some unwelcome appearances on the face. Dealing with the disease is stress enough but calming the skin is another issue.
Our products are not medicated but are very mild and will not irritate the skin. After continued use over time, it can improve the skin. Usually, I demonstrate our products on people’s hands since most people are hesitant with new products on their face. But at this event, a lot of people wanted us to apply the products to their face and started to line up for me for facial applications! I was a little concerned, because most of them had Rosacea and other skin problems they were sometimes fairly severe. But I also know our products are very mild and was confident that they would not irritate their skin. I carefully cleaned and toned their skin and applied our creams on their faces. The wonderful thing we immediately noticed was that the redness on their skin calmed down a lot. They were very happy with the results.
The Fair by Gilda’s Club was very rewarding. We put a tremendous amount of effort into this program, but it was worth it just to see people happy. We cannot do much to cure their disease, but we were able to contribute a little smile on their face. That was enough for us.
This past summer, my husband was invited to volunteer with the Florida International Volunteer Corps (FAVACA) to help the Amerindian population in Guyana to develop cosmetic products using an abundant local ingredient called Crabwood Oil. My husband was able to use his extensive experience to help out this community to develop a product for them to sell and support their families. This was not an easy trip for my husband going to this remote area and I’m very proud of him for going. Over my next couple postings, I’ll let my husband describe his experiences in his words:
On August 17, 2011, the plane I was on touched down in Guyana in the early morning. It was the first stop for me in Guyana in the capacity as a FAVACA volunteer in partnership with Farmer to Farmer to work with Amerindians that reside in the Three Brother Community. This inland mission was also by the invitation and arrangement of the Ministry of Amerindian Affairs of Guyana.
I flew out on the 19th from Ogle International Airport, which is a small airport mainly used by single engine airplanes for short flying distances serving the rural areas. The flight was unexpectedly very smooth. We left the airstrip and went down to a small village by the river named Kumaka. This is an important marketplace for the nearby communities doing their merchandise exchange and shopping in these river communities. The journey to my host, Greg’s home took one and a half hours by a boat fitted with a powerful outboard motor. I was told that it would take about four hours if only using a small motor; and twelve plus hours if paddling a canoe. Boating is the only way of transportation for everyone living in this community because there is no road connecting the houses and communities in this area. All residents have their houses built near the rivers for easy access transporting in and out of the area by boat.
Before we got to Greg’s house, he pointed to two small wooden building along the river used as the school buildings. I was told all students regardless of the grade level share the larger building as a class room. It very much resembled the one room schoolhouses in the early North American settlements. The smaller building is used as the teacher’s residence. There was no one on the grounds because school was in recess. I took a picture of the buildings from the river.
Greg also made a stop by the bridge leading to another building which is used as a community healthcare center. This center provides minimal medication and treatment for minor illnesses. More serious illnesses and open wounds have to be transferred to Mabaruma where they have a hospital with some equipment and is better staffed. If the Mabaruma hospital could not handle the situation, the patient would be airlifted to Georgetown for treatment. One of the learners that came for the workshop is the health worker of that center. She took a patient with an open cut by boat to Marbaruma after her first day of training. It was a long journey for a young lady riding over two hours on the river in the dark of night. I salute her.