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Ossie, a Dorian survivor, has a message for you



  • September 17, 2019
Noel Brewer Yeatts
Noel Brewer Yeatts

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On my trip back from the Bahamas after helping deliver aid to victims of Hurricane Dorian, I shared a plane with an unexpected passenger. Her name was Bobby, and she was a dog.

Bobby was on her way to be reunited with her owner, Oswald “Ossie” Hall, who had been evacuated to Virginia a few days earlier.

Ossie lost everything in the devastation caused by Hurricane Dorian. He wants to return home, but home has been completely destroyed. At least now he has his best friend, Bobby, back with him, but he still has a long road to recovery ahead of him.

People like Ossie are in desperate need of rescue right now — and you can be the one to help provide lifesaving aid in the midst of their darkest moments.

Like many people, Ossie felt fairly prepared ahead of Hurricane Dorian, having packed an emergency bag to grab in the event of an evacuation. But when the winds began to pick up on Sunday, Sept. 1, Ossie realized there would be no escape. 

During the first few hours, Ossie and Bobby huddled in a closet and waited for the storm to pass, listening as windows cracked and eventually blew out.

“I lost track of time at that point,” Ossie said.

After a while, the storm grew quiet. Looking at his barometer, Ossie realized that they were close to the eye of the hurricane, and he took advantage of the temporary calm to check on his elderly sister who lived in the apartment downstairs. When he reached her floor, he found her standing in four and a half feet of water.

Just then, the winds changed direction and picked up again, this time fortunately sucking the water out of the house instead of pushing it in.

“It came on like the longest, heaviest freight train that you could imagine,” Ossie said, describing the second wave of the hurricane.

Ossie stayed with his sister, and when the hurricane finally passed, he began to survey the damage.

“My neighbor’s house was gone, and my roof was gone,” Ossie said, as tears filled his eyes. “The devastation along the way — my friends’ homes and my family’s homes — was totally overwhelming. There wasn’t one house, one building that wasn’t touched by Dorian. It was heartbreaking.”

Over the next few days, the brother and sister did what they could to survive. She slept on a wet mattress while he slept curled up on top of a fridge that had fallen on its side. They ate what food they could find and drank water from a few bottles Ossie had found stored in the home until they were finally able to evacuate.

until a friend of Ossie’s, who also happened to be our pilot, found him and brought him to be with his owner.

Ossie is ready to return to his beloved home — ready to begin the rebuilding process ahead. “What I left behind, a year is not going to do justice to the recovery that is actually needed,” he said.

He’s right. It will be a long time before these once beautiful islands are rebuilt, but you can help begin that process right now. For just $50, you can come alongside someone like Ossie. Your gift will provide supplies like food, clean water, generators, clothing, shoes, and more.

And thanks to a generous matching gift, your donation today will be DOUBLED, up to $80,000 — allowing you to impact twice as many people!

Will you help rescue a survivor by sending lifesaving aid today?

“If anybody’s out there listening to this,” Ossie said, “please … we’re not going to get through this unless we all pull together and make it happen. You’re my brothers. You’re my sisters. And I hope you feel the same way. Thank you for your help.”

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