Working Toward a Better Bako: THUMBS UP, CANCER DOWN

Another nonprofit organization doing great work in the city of Bakersfield and beyond is Thumbs Up, Cancer Down.  What started with a single photo has now grown into an online hub of encouragement that literally spans the globe!

When local weather anchor, Kevin Charette, heard that his friend was battling colon cancer he looked for a way to help.  One day, he noticed a picture of his friend on Facebook at the cancer treatment center.  His friend's two-thumbs-up didn't surprise him; he was always in good spirits.  It was the young man next to his friend that made his heart sink.  Kevin recognized this young man getting treatment as someone he had coached on a baseball team several years prior.

Kevin decided to visit the treatment center, and when we he did, he snapped a picture with his friend and the young man.  The three of them held high their thumbs up "to show that they were making the best of a tough situation."  

In that moment, an idea was sparked.  That single picture of encouragement has now blossomed into a gallery with hundreds of photos from around the world, each with people giving their thumbs up to take cancer down.

"We didn't necessarily want to collect donations to be used for cancer research," their website states.  "This is absolutely important and life-saving, but there are already a number of organizations that do exactly that."

So, in addition to the creation of a nonprofit organization with a website and gallery, Thumbs Up, Cancer Down has now begun to provide what they call Thumbs Up Power Up Packs.  These gift bags include items designed to bring comfort to those who are receiving cancer treatment.

We, at Better Bakocould not be more proud of the work that is being doing through Thumbs Up, Cancer Down.  This is the perfect example of someone taking a simple idea and asking, "I wonder if this could actually work?"  And as a result, Thumbs Up, Cancer Down is not only working toward a Better Bako, but toward a better world as well.  

To learn more about Thumbs Up, Cancer Down, and to find ways that you can help in their movement of encouragement to those battling cancer, visit their website at


For more opportunities to volunteer with local nonprofit organizations, visit Better Bako’s index here.