WASHINGTON – A nonprofit group hopes to rally hundreds of thousands of people in Washington and across the country June 1 in a stand for improved health care for children.
“This is a moral issue. This is not a political issue,” said Children’s Defense Fund President Marian Wright Edelman, who is also founder of the Stand For Children event.
Among the group’s goals is to win health insurance for every child. There are 10 million uninsured children in the United States, Edelman said.
“That is simply wrong,” she said at Friday’s press conference.
Edelman offered several suggestions for community activities.
“If you care about babies being born too small to live and thrive, take business, political, media, religious and community leaders on a `Child Watch’ tour of your hospital’s neonatal unit,” she said in a written statement. “If you care about children dying from diseases we could prevent, organize an immunization campaign to make sure every child gets the vaccinations they need.
“If you care about children failing in school because of untreated vision and hearing problems, organize a community forum with teachers, nurses and pediatricians to discuss children’s health needs,” she said. “If you care about children’s health and safety, conduct a playground cleanup or a safe corridors’ walk against the violence that takes the lives of 5,700 children each year.”
Between May 25 and June 7, people also will be able to sign an on-line petition for improved health insurance for children by visiting the organization’s World Wide Web site, at www.stand.org.
Web site visitors will also be able to find out about local events.
The rally is a second annual event. Last year, more than 200,000 people came to the Lincoln Memorial to show their support for improved living conditions for children. This year’s honorary co-chairwomen are civil rights leader Rosa Parks and actress Rosie O’Donnell. -30-