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What struck me the most about the June 16 cover story (“Hiding in Plain Sight”) is the intense isolation the family in Columbia Heights expressed. I live in Columbia Heights, and I do not feel trapped inside my apartment. Granted, I don’t walk outside at night, and the drug dealers do scare me. But my days are full of beauty and fun because of the National Zoo and Rock Creek Park, just a few minutes’ walk away. My point is there is a lot more going on in these families than poor diet and lack of exercise. Economic injustice, depression, and anxiety are paralyzing these parents, and they are passing these chronic psychological conditions on to their children. If we can alleviate the uneven burden our neighbors carry, I believe these children will discover how much fun the zoo and Rock Creek bike path are. I challenge my fellow readers to mentor a child in need—it can enrich your life, the child’s life, and, ultimately, the child’s whole family. I’m a mentor and love it. Just turn to the Volunteers section of the Washington City Paper classifieds and pick an organization to call. These children need a friend.

Columbia Heights