Letters to the Editor for April 4, 2019

April is National Donate Life month

The Children’s Organ Transplant Association (COTA) has been removing the financial barriers for families facing transplants for more than three decades. In Vancouver, a group of caring and committed volunteers are working hard to do just that for the Bolster-Samples family.

COTA organizes communities across the country to raise funds for transplant-related expenses. Jade Samples, age 18, waits for a kidney transplant. Jade Sample’s family has turned to COTA for assistance, support and guidance.

COTA funds help with expenses such as food and lodging while the family is at the transplant center; transportation to and from the transplant center; co-pays, deductibles and medications, and assistance with household expenses while a parent is out of work during the time of the transplant. All of these expenses add up quickly and can stand in the way of a child receiving a life-saving transplant. Transplant-related expenses last a lifetime due to anti-rejection medications, follow-up visits and sometimes another transplant. You can help.

Transplant families from every corner of this country have worked with COTA. Since 1986, generous individuals have made contributions to help ensure transplant-needy children and young adults receive a life-saving transplant.

April is National Donate Life Month. Every day 20 people die waiting for an organ transplant in the United States. One organ donor can save eight lives. To sign up to be a designated organ and/or tissue donor, visit RegisterMe.org. To support COTA in honor of Jade, visit COTAforJadeS.com.

Alyse Collins, Vancouver

Volunteer to help community

When you think of volunteers, you usually think of someone who isn’t paid for the work they do. And that is true, but volunteers are so much more than free labor. To try to put a price on the worth of volunteers would diminish their true value.

Nonprofit organizations would not exist without the efforts of volunteers as they are needed not only for labor, but also for input, ideas, leadership and expertise.

I encourage everyone to find a cause near and dear to them to support. You’ll meet so many new people, feel good about doing something valuable to you plus help a worthy cause. Additionally, organizations truly need your expertise and knowledge to help improve our community.

Personally, I volunteer with several local nonprofit organizations, including the Alzheimer’s Association’s Walk To End Alzheimer’s in Vancouver. The Alzheimer’s Association greatly assisted my family through the nightmarish journey of my grandmother’s dementia. Visit them at alz.org or call 1-800-292-3900 if you or someone you love also has a family or friend with Alzheimer’s or dementia.

Please volunteer, as our community needs your help today.

Carol Taylor, Vancouver

Thankful for bill to prevent oil train spills

I appreciate Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler fighting to protect our environment against oil spills. As trains transport hazardous material along the Columbia River, it’s critical that we consider how to prevent spills from happening. She introduced a bill that would ensure that trains transporting oil or other flammable liquids have reliable braking systems. There have been questions around the reliability of the current air-braking systems used by trains transporting oil, so it’s about time we update these outdated systems and bring them up to date with today’s technology. This is common sense and is important to protecting local wildlife, fish and the well-being of this region. Thank you, Jaime, for taking the initiative on this.

D. Alton Johnson, Camas

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