I was jarred out of my thoughts by the ringing of the telephone! Discouraged that even in my role as a children's advocate I was not able to do more for children, I picked up the receiver. Then I heard, "Hi! This is Jeannie!"
Jeannie, in her forties now, was 13 when tragedy struck. During a drive-by shooting, someone fired a shotgun into the house where she lived. Jeannie was wounded in the eye. Because she had no health insurance, she was turned away by hospital after hospital. By the time her parents found one that would accept her, it was too late. She lost her eye.
I was outraged by the lack of access to health care for this child. Jeannie and I become good friends, and I was eventually able to help her get a prosthetic eye. She went on to finish school, have a family, and become employed by the Department of Human Services.
Talking to Jeannie that day, I was reminded of how much good can come from helping a child at the right time. The help I gave her was an investment in the future and in a wonderful mother and productive citizen.
By : Marian Wright Edelman
(From : 'Daily Word' magazine by Silent Unity, a world wide prayer ministry)