Letters: Organ donors save lives
May 3, 2012 10:54PM
Updated: June 5, 2012 11:25AM
The Children’s Organ Transplant Association was founded more than 25 years ago when residents of Bloomington, Ind., rallied around a little boy who needed a lifesaving liver transplant. In less than eight weeks, the community raised $100,000 to place the boy on the organ waiting list, but he died before a liver became available.
Those community volunteers and the boy’s parents turned tragedy into triumph by using the funds raised to help other transplant families. That was the beginning of COTA, which since 1986 has assisted more than 1,800 patients and helped raise nearly $65 million for transplant-related expenses.
COTA has built volunteer networks across the nation in an attempt to ensure that no child or young adult needing an organ or tissue transplant is excluded from a transplant waiting list due to a lack of funds. COTA needs your help to make sure that tragedies like the one that was the catalyst in founding COTA are not repeated.
Every day, 19 people die waiting for an organ transplant in the United States. April is National Donate Life Month. I urge you to register to become an organ donor. Then encourage your friends, family members, neighbors and associates to take three simple life-saving steps — register to be a donor through their state’s motor vehicles department or by completing an organ donor registration card, express your wish to be a donor to family members and carry your organ donor card at all times.
Find out how you can give hope to a COTA child living nearby by visiting www.cota.org.
President and chief executive
Children’s Organ Transplant Association
Support detention center
The Will and Grundy Counties Building Trades Council represents 28 local unions. We have been following with interest the recent articles on community concerns with a proposed immigration detention center in Crete.
The men and women of the construction trades in Will County have been hurting since the economic downturn and are interested in the potential construction and long-term jobs associated with a center of this type.
Although the project is still only proposed, you can look at similar projects elsewhere in the country to get a sense of the potential benefits to Will County. The detention center¹s owner/operator, Corrections Corporation of America, would spend about $50 million to build it. It will employ hundreds immediately for the construction and create another 200 permanent jobs with good benefits. After completion, the company is committed to using local businesses for the center, providing revenue for the area for years to come.
Corrections Corporation of America has a 30-year track record of successful community partnerships on detention projects. It now manages 14 facilities for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and has been named one of America’s best-managed companies by Forbes magazine.
We urge the region and its elected officials to support the construction of this center to help create jobs and support our local economy.
John Scheidt, president
Will and Grundy Counties Building Trades Council
Casinos prey on the weak
The fact that the new Rivers Casino in Des Plaines was caught promoting its vice to gambling addicts is outrageous. Rivers specifically targeted people who are problem gamblers, people who have voluntarily put themselves on a self-exclusion list to be kept out of gambling establishments. There are thousands of Illinois residents on this list.
The casino’s gambit isn’t really a big surprise. The gambling industry is built on greed and exploitation. Thanks to complicit state lawmakers, gambling has been allowed to expand across the state and nation to the point where it has saturated the market.
Because Illinois lawmakers approved the casinos, supporting exploitative games of chance to get the state’s share of the booty, does it really matter who the casinos target or exploit? As long as the state and gambling industry get their ill-gotten proceeds, it doesn’t matter how much it costs families and legitimate businesses in Illinois.
David E. Smith
Illinois Family Institute