All lives matter, especially the lives of the forgotten: those residing under the heading of “shut-ins.” These unfortunate people are without family or friends and are deemed unworthy of being seen, much less of leading a life resembling normalcy.

Millions upon millions of dollars will be spent on a presidential election, but there are no provisions allocated to take an elderly woman to church. This, too, is wrong.

With all the resources available and money spent by the government on frivolous things, money should be earmarked on a regular basis to provide “freedoms” the rest of us take for granted. As a society of what’s touted as the greatest nation on earth, we should be embarrassed for our treatment of shut-ins.

Imagine never going anywhere, never going to the beach or to McDonald’s or the library. Imagine getting up every day knowing your only activity will be to sit in a chair for long hours, desperately trying to entertain yourself in some way other than football or a phony reality show.

Imagine this to be your life. 24/7. No reprieve. No parole. No hope of anything more humane.

There needs to be a program set up to sponsor shut-ins. It wouldn’t amount to a lot of money to sponsor someone.

It needn’t be time-consuming or uncomfortable. It would provide a new source of life for the elderly – a chance to reconnect with a community, becoming part of what was once their world.

The time is now to help these people If not now, when? If not us, who?

Nancy Woodward

Portland