[Adapted from Cecil Williamson’s comments on Sawyerville, AL which is near to her home]
“. . . [it is] not any fault of their own that they are not properly educated; that they are in a poverty-stricken area in a rural community; totally isolated; but they are genuine and very appreciative of any help offered . . . really want to better their situation, but it is extremely difficult . . . When you are not educated and there are no jobs . . . traveling fifty miles to work just to get a job . . . with gas prices today . . . one day FEMA came to Sawyerville [several tornados had ripped through in 2011] . . . forty houses totally destroyed . . . forty-seven houses that had lost their roofs. . . six little children had died, all in one nuclear family . . . FEMA only stayed one day. . . not from eight to five but ten to four . . . and never came back . . . that left us (Cecil and her friends) who really cared . . . to offer what we could. The community never asked for anything . . . they would say, “We can’t take that, but we know Suzy up the street needs it” . . . If they couldn’t use it, they wouldn’t keep it. . . that’s the kind of the community it is. They don’t have very many options to get out of the situation that they are in – even for their children to get out.