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Smallwood a best friend to residents

LANETT — Mary Smallwood is one of the best friends to a number of rural Chambers County residents. That’s because she drives them to their medical appointments once a week.

Without her picking them up in the Chambers County bus she drives, her passengers probably would not have their medical needs met.

For helping people in need, Smallwood is our good neighbor of the week.

“The transportation program is funded through the Chambers County Commission,” she said. “I drive three days a week. On Mondays we go to Opelika, on Tuesday to the Valley and on Wednesday to LaFayette. On every other Wednesday we go to Roanoke. Our first priority is to get people to their doctor appointments. Along the way we can stop if they need to go shopping at Walmart and sometimes we’ll stop to eat at Burger King or Jack’s. They like getting out of the house, meeting others and of course, going to the doctor.”

Smallwood said she’s made some really good friends driving the bus.

“They appreciate the opportunity of having someone drive them to places they need to go,” she said. “Without this transport program, these people would have no way to get to the doctor.”

Being the driver gives Smallwood the advantage of being active.

“I like what I do,” she said. “I like the people I meet, and it keeps me active. It gives me something to do.”

Smallwood has five grown children, five grandchildren and four great grandchildren.

She’s an active member of the First Christian Church in Lanett.

“It’s very rewarding to keep people happy by taking them places,” she said. “It’s a part-time position. I usually work eight hours on Monday, eight on Tuesday and six hours on Wednesday. It’s nice to know there are people who look forward to you coming to see them once a week.”