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Alberta provided much-needed internet access through joint Force

The Freedom Quilting Bee and Souls Grown Deep recently collaborated to provide internet access service to the community of Gee’s Bend and Alberta. This ensured they were able to interact with the IRS to check on and receive their stimulus payments.

There are people who don’t realize they are eligible to receive this stimulus payment, and others who will not automatically receive it without providing the IRS with information. Souls Grown Deep (SGD), in its continuing commitment to the Alberta/Gee’s Bend community, supplied the laptops and personnel to make this access happen.

Census 2020 completion was included in this project in an effort to increase participation in the census. SGD was at one time working with Wilcox County to place an access center at the Gee’s Bend Ferry Terminal.  That effort was stalled because of the closure of the county.  So, they decided it would be implemented here in the short term until the Ferry Terminal was available.

Additionally, SGD sponsored the manufacture and distribution of masks for the County Road 29 community. That initiative dovetailed with this one to provide stimulus/census access.

Mary Margaret Pettway, 56, has since been profiled in National news articles for her efforts to provide masks to every Gee’s Bender who needs one. The Gee’s Bend Quilters plan to prepare 500 washable masks, dropping them off on doorsteps or leaving them in mailboxes to maintain physical distance; the surplus will go to neighboring Alberta.

Pettway spends most of her days underneath a covered porch with her sewing machine, attempting to make a dent in the mask distribution with each passing hour. A simple task when compared to the weeks or months it may take to complete a quilt.

SGD provided detailed information about COVID-19 with the delivery of each mask. An info sheet highlighting the nature of this disease’s transmission, as well as its rates among African Americans was included. African Americans/Blacks represent 26.8% of the population in Alabama. However, they account for more than 35% (37.9) of confirmed COVID–19 cases and nearly 50% (45.7) of COVID–19 deaths.

Persons 65 years and older represent 16.9% of Alabama’s population. They represent only 25% of confirmed cases, but account for 77% of COVID–19 deaths in Alabama.  Please contact Elaine Williams at 334-573-0064 (Access Center 10am-4pm daily) or 904-713-5054 (cell) for information on the operations of the Stimulus/Census Internet Access Center which is located at Aunt Ruby’s Kitchen, 2756 County Road 29, Alberta, AL.

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