Nicotine, the psychoactive component of the common grain tobacco, has been used for centuries by cultures across the world. Native to the Americas, tobacco’s use and cultivation in the Americas can be traced back all the way to 6000 BCE, and began use as a stimulant soon after by chewing or smoking the plant leaves. Originally, tobacco was introduced to Europe around 1560 after being presented to the French Ambassador Jean Nicot de Villemain, whose name Nicotine is derived from. It then began heavy dual use as both a medicine, for its perceived protection against the Bubonic plague, and as a pesticide. By the late 1600s, links between tobacco use and cancer began to be formed. This idea elucidated by James I of England in 1604 saying “smoking is a custom loathsome to the eye, hateful to the nose, harmful to the brain, [and] dangerous to the lungs.” However, it retained its use as an effective pesticide until World War I due to its neurotoxic effects. Later, nicotine was isolated from the tobacco by two German chemists in 1828 who believed the compound to be a poison. In the first proof of alkaloids in forensic medicine, Belgian count Hippolyte Visart de Bocarme poisoned his brother-in-law in 1851.
After colonization of the United States, tobacco began being grown as a prominent cash crop in North Carolina and Chesapeake, where it was the prominent export and source of income for the communities those regions. As tobacco grew in prominence so too did the utilization of slave labor in North Carolina and Chesapeake because the crop was very labor intensive and difficult to grow. Finally, tobacco sales declined following the civil war. However, its many uses in cigarettes, chewing tobacco, snus, etc. persist to this day even though the prevalence of use has been declining for some time. Cigarette use by US adults has declined from 42% to less than 14% over the past 40 years.
Today is National Scavenger Hunt Day! Scavenger hunts can be a fun way to work with your children on following directions and reading all while finding random items around your home or yard. Elsa Maxwell, an author, songwriter, and professional hostess, is credited with the introduction of the scavenger hunt game as it is known today. In times right now, with children being home because of COVID-19 it can be difficult to find ways to keep your children busy while also making sure you keep yourself sane!
Scavenger Hunts are an activity that will be fun for your children and help you to get some much-needed alone time. Attached are two fun scavenger hunts that you can print out and do with your children to help them get outdoors. Is it a rainy day? A scavenger hunt for indoors is also included! Feel free to make your own scavenger hunt based on the age of your children and what you have around your house
Hello again, I hope that everyone is staying healthy with their loved ones as we persist through this difficult time. Regardless of what has already happened, we are still here, and things will return to normal in time.
On a lighter note, to celebrate the end of National Women’s Health Week I have put together some information concerning a few of the current major concerns in women’s health and how women worldwide are combatting them. While the list of women’s health issues is expansive, medically, politically, and otherwise, for the sake of time I have decided to concentrate on three medical ones today. That being said, I have included a link below to the World Health Organization’s (WHO) “Top issues for Women’s Health”, written by Dr. Flavia Bustreo who is the Assistant Director General for Family, Women’s and Children’s Health for the WHO.
Volunteering brings fulfillment to your life. It strengthens your ties to the community. People choose to volunteer for a variety of reasons. For some, it offers the chance to give something back to the community or make a difference to the people around them. For others, it provides an opportunity to develop new skills or build on existing experience and knowledge. Whatever their personal reasons could be, volunteering helps non profit organizations to achieve their goal in helping the community.
Why Should I Volunteer?
Volunteering Reduces Stress: Researchers suggest that one reason giving may improve physical health and longevity is that it helps decrease stress, which is associated with a variety of health problems. In a 2006 study by Rachel Piferi of Johns Hopkins University and Kathleen Lawler of the University of Tennessee, people who provided social support to others had lower blood pressure than participants who didn’t, suggesting a direct physiological benefit to those who give of themselves.
In a 2006 study, Jorge Moll and colleagues at the National Institutes of Health found that when people give to charities, it activates regions of the brain associated with pleasure, social connection, and trust, creating a “warm glow” effect. Scientists also believe that altruistic behavior releases endorphins in the brain, producing the positive feeling known as the “helper’s high.”https://greatergood.berkeley.edu/article/item/5_ways_giving_is_good_for_you
Volunteering Reduces Depression: Volunteering can increase your self esteem, it can give you a sense of accomplishment. It keeps your mind busy and away from negative thoughts. When you help someone who has mental health issues, you stop being overly critical about your own life.
According to Gil Fronsdal in his article, the joy of giving refers to how Buddhist believed in giving. He explains at its most basic level, dana in the Buddhist tradition means giving freely without expecting anything in return. The act of giving is purely out of compassion or goodwill, or the desire for someone else’s well-being. Perhaps dana is more about how we are than what we do. Through generosity, we cultivate a generous spirit. Generosity of spirit will usually lead to generosity of action, but being a generous person is more important than any particular act of giving. After all, it is possible to give without its being a generous act. https://tricycle.org/magazine/joy-giving/
Volunteering Brings Oneness: Most people show empathy and compassion towards people irrespective of their gender or religion or caste. They believe and see the world as one. This makes them great humans. Volunteering makes the world a better place by aiding a community in need and helping others provides immense pleasure.
Time to wine down. Oops did someone say wine??? Yes, National Moscato Day is May 9th this year! Is a glass of wine a day beneficial or harmful? Wine has been reported to have great health benefits when being consumed in moderation such as providing “boost antioxidants, increase "good" cholesterol and lower the risk of heart disease” (Breyer, 2019). Drinking a glass of wine can increase health risks as well, so moderating consumption of wine is very important!
My favorite type of Moscato is Risata Moscato d’Asti. It has a sweet, balanced taste to it that includes flavors such as tangerines and honey. This wine can be found at your local wine stores and even…. Wal-Mart! Yes, it is very affordable and very good! What’s your wine choice?
Breyer, M. (2019, October 08). What a glass of wine a day does to your body. Retrieved from https://www.mnn.com/health/fitness-well-being/stories/what-glass-wine-day-does-your-body
Helen's Project Masters Level Social Work Intern
Firstly, I hope that each of you and your family members are safe and well. I also hope that, despite the present situation we find ourselves in, there have been moments of joy and kindness that have been able to help you through this difficult time. If you have one in particular you’d like to share, throw it down in the comments!
Additionally, I’m sure that everyone is up to date on the latest news and recommendations about what to do to keep yourself and those around you safe. In the off chance that anyone needs extra resources I’ve included links to the CDC and World Health Organizations (WHO) advice below:
Next, I wanted to say a little something about Giving Tuesday, which is happening this coming Tuesday, May 5th. Often times there are reservations that we can all have about giving back to our communities. Can I afford to offer financial support? How can I find a cause that tackles the issues I care about most? There are so many great organizations and groups that I can donate to, how do I figure out which is the best choice for me? These are all valid concerns that require time and thought to overcome. Nevertheless, there are resources that can help us make these decisions and, with the information age that we currently live in, it has never been easier to access that information even from the comfort of our own homes! Granted, the “comfort of our own homes” is the only comfort many of us have been able to enjoy for the past month or so and it’s gotten to the point where even your dog might be getting tired of you always being there to go play catch… but, anyway, that information is still just a push of a button away!
Events like Giving Tuesday Now are the perfect opportunity to commit to helping make a difference. It establishes a concrete date in the calendar where each of us can make the commitment to make a difference in our community. Whether that community is your corner of town, your state, or even the country, we are all still one community. Such events can also give us the chance to say in one giant voice to those who are in need and those who have dedicated to serving those in need know that they have not been forgotten about, and that we care.
In a time where being physically together is not a luxury that we can afford, making demonstrations like these are worth their weight in gold. One of the greatest tools that humankind wields is our ability to come together during a crisis and demonstrate a compassion for one another that can resonate with any person to the core. So, whether this is your first Giving Tuesday or your fifth, join us this Tuesday, May 5th to help spread some compassion in our great state and remind those that need our support most that we are here for them. Thank you so much for your time, and I hope you all stay safe and healthy.
Dale Boardman, BS
Helen's Project Volunteer
Monday - Friday
8 a.m. to 12 p.m.
Meetings by appointment
Phone and Fax - 830-400-7037
To volunteer or for Community Service:
2300 Olympia #271406
Flower Mound, TX 75027
1850 E Houston St.
San Antonio, TX 78202