Pilots’ ministry asks for donations to rebuild Andros

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A local ministry is seeking help for a forgotten people.

Blessings from D-Skies, a Cartersville-based pilots’ ministry inspired by the Church at the Well more than seven years ago, is asking the Bartow County community for donations of money and building supplies to help the people of Andros, Bahamas, rebuild after Hurricane Matthew left the island in devastation in October.

The ministry is spearheaded by 10 to 12 volunteer pilots who routinely fly to the poverty-stricken island to deliver donated food and supplies throughout the year, but the immediate focus is on helping people rebuild the homes that were damaged or destroyed by the Category 4 hurricane.

Frederick Cullen was the last pilot to make a delivery to the lush tropical island, flying in supplies the weekend of Nov. 18, Moser said.

“There was a lot of damage,” he said. “Blanket Sound was devastated, which also supplies the island’s drinking water. The island was out of power for eight weeks, and they were still trying to get people power when Fred was there. He handed out four generators and 50 solar-charged battery power packs to the elderly to be able to keep their cell phones charged in case of needing emergency services.”

Moser said Blessings tried to make another delivery this weekend, but a scheduling problem moved it to next weekend.

To aid the people of Andros, the ministry needs immediate donations of lumber, tarps, hand tools and money.

“We are going to be sending a shipping container down with lumber, shingles and other supplies as soon as we get enough to fill it up,” Moser said. “We have started a GoFundMe page for donations. Gifts of any amount are appreciated.”

It also could use some volunteers willing to help rebuild.

“We would really like to get more people involved,” Moser said. “Sometimes our trips are like camping. You have to rough it a little bit. But the pure beauty of the island and the strong feeling you get in your heart after helping others out that are in worse shape than you helps bring you back into reality. That people really do appreciate the willingness of your support and don't just expect you to do it for them. It is a real eye-opening experience. And you get to actually see what you are giving to.”

The island also is “close enough to the U.S. where people that want to help out can,” Moser said.

“It takes about five hours for us to get to the communities that we help out,” he said. “That is shorter than driving to Disney World.”

Moser called the people of Andros “the forgotten ones.”

“Everyone thinks of resorts when they think of the Bahamas,” he said. “They are quick to give to Haiti and Africa, where the corruption is terrible. In Andros, everything goes to the people really in need of the help.”

To donate building materials or to volunteer, email blessingsfromdskies@gmail.com or call Steven Moser at 770-807-9731.

Moser said he was inspired to get involved with the Blessings ministry by his son, Steven.

“After he returned home from a mission, he told me we needed to do something to help the people of Andros,” he said.

Many residents there live in “crushing poverty” and are unemployed, Moser said. But for those who are fortunate enough to find jobs in hotels or resorts in Nassau, employment can lead to other problems.

“Part of the problem with parents working off the island [of Andros] is that children must fend for themselves or they are raised by other family members,” he said.

For information about Blessings, visit www.blessingsfromd-skies.org or call The Well at 678-721-2500.