Letters to the Editor

Mothers, children need to be saved

With an invitation to join an elite camp to practice with college coaches and professionals, Boulder City High School junior Lily Osman is flourishing in her softball career. Each child deserves a chance, like Osman, to thrive in their favorite sport. Let’s make this happen by providing every child with basic maternal and child health care.

From Day One, our mothers promised to protect and nurture us so that we could reach our full potential. However, despite the noble efforts of mothers across the world, many lack the resources to ensure their children can thrive. Every minute, 11 children under age 5 die of unnecessary causes around the world. I cannot fathom the anguish that these mothers face.

Uniquely, both Democratic and Republican members of Congress have come together to support moms and kids through the Reach Every Mother and Child Act (H.R. 3706 and S. 1911). Almost 200 legislators have signed on to the Reach Act with the goal of ending unnecessary mother and child deaths by 2035.

It is imperative for Rep. Joseph Heck and Sens. Harry Reid and Dean Heller to co-sponsor the Reach Act. Will the call to action be made to honor children and moms around the world?

Cecilia van Wijk

Older American Act essential for seniors

As an aging professional, I urge Congress to fund Older Americans Act nutrition programs at the increased levels proposed by President Barack Obama and approved by the House Appropriations Committee for fiscal year 2017.

OAA nutrition programs, such as Meals on Wheels and congregate meals at senior centers, provide nutritious meals, friendly visits, and safety and wellness checks each day. These programs enable the independence of our nation’s most vulnerable. They also save significant taxpayer dollars by preventing unnecessary trips to the emergency room and delaying or eliminating altogether the need for nursing home care.

However, these programs are sorely underfunded due to declining public funding, stagnant private funding, and rising food and transportation costs. I’m a volunteer at Helping Hands of Vegas Valley and I’m aware of a long waiting list of elderly people who want help and this organization just can’t help them because of lack of funds. There are many elderly people in Southern Nevada that need help.

As Congress considers funding for fiscal year 2017, I urge our local Congressional delegation to fund these nutrition programs at this bipartisan agreed-upon level. With more than 12,000 people turning 60 every day, now is the time to boost investments in these proven and cost-effective programs.

Betty Campbell