If she didn’t tell you, you may never know Juanita Ruzek is 79 years old.
“I put my life on it. I even put my age on it,” she says, referring to the sign she posted outside her Rainelle home just a few days ago. It says in part, “I need help to put my home back together. I’m 79 years old. I don’t know where to start.” Even if she did know where to start Juanita says she’s just not physically capable of putting her flood damaged home back together.
“Well, I can’t do it. I’ve got a bad back, I’ve got bad knees. I don’t have no husband to help me.”
So she decided to ask for help the old fashioned way with a hand written sign and it didn’t take long for people to respond. “One guy bought me a whole thing of insulation, it’s out on the porch. The other said give me their names, just call me, I can get you anything you want,” she says.
Among those that have helped is Juanita’s long time neighbor Reney Cordial who says, “whatever she needs. If she just needs someone to check her house, I’ll come check her house for her.”
While neighbors like Reney have been good to Juanita, there is so much more that needs to be done. We couldn’t even set foot in the house because of the damage and right now both Juanita and her sister Mamie Martin are living in temporary FEMA trailers. While they’re grateful for the homes- neither wants to live there forever.
If you’re interested in helping Juanita or her older sister Mamie, you can find them on fifth street in Rainelle. Just look for the sign outside Juanita’s damaged home.