One for the history books, sociology, and theology study
We met Mr. Otis almost by accident, but if you listen to his life story you will know there are no such accidents, only divine intervention. I have only met one other man who without saying a word let you know he was placed on this earth to accomplish a mission from God. His name was George and I apologize but I do not recall his last name. George appeared in the last days of my father’s life, not as a nurse or caretaker but rather a neighbor and friend. The minute my husband and I met George we knew he was an angel sent to be beside him and guide him home. George was jovial and kind, he looked at you like he already knew all about you and passed no judgment. He did not offer anything but love and kindness.
When COVID-19 hit, I was already underway making plans with some of my personal chef friends to offer food for those who were immunocompromised. I was making a plan with them to serve and care for those in our community. As fate would have it my role in this pandemic was not to be of my own choosing but rather one of more humility and less involvement than I even liked. You see even though I was capable and willing to do more, I was being led to sit tight, and offer smaller acts of kindness through delivering some meals for Bridge the Gap Mission. It was here one day that I met Mr, Otis Hardy.
I had no idea he was the co-founder of the mission. This seventy-five-year-old, African American with a slight limp lifted boxes of food for me into the back of my SUV. We hardly spoke to one another other than polite kindnesses, “Thank you for helping”, “I can lift that”, “Have a nice day.” I left that day never knowing his name but went home knowing he was special, much like George in some way. I told my husband and friends of my encounter and although I did not see him on my subsequent meal deliveries I could not forget him.
Long weeks passed and I stayed in touch with the organizers of Bridge The Gap Mission by social media. I saw a post about their Co-founder, no picture, just a name. My inner sense knew it must have been the man that I met that day who helped me with those boxes. I wanted to meet him and tell his story for the magazine, I had no idea he was already a public person and famous by standards. Mr, Otis’s story had been written about for social, historical, and political reasons.
I had no idea that when this man would tell me his life story and that I would be compelled to help! But this is the magic of this man, he will tell you himself he has been blessed by meeting those who came into his life not by device, but by some divine grace. Learn how 2 consecutive life sentences at a North Carolina State prison came to pass and how a boy that was abandoned in the woods became the most highly sought after baker at the North Carolina Governor’s mansion.
His story was too long and enthralling to fit in a single recording so here we have the privilege to bring it to our readers a brief introduction, Part 1, and Part 2, Meet Kelli Pfitzner, Program Director for Bridge The Gap Mission in Raleigh, NC. We included some bonus B roll footage, where we all just sat around and chatted about things happening in the community thanks to the efforts of Bridge The Gap Mission and important financial goals that will require lots of help.
Please enjoy the story of Mr. Otis Hardy and share this with your friends. If you are inclined to help, please do not ignore that little constant voice, just reach out and do whatever it is that you can. His story is living proof that the little things can become big things. His story also tells us just what I have learned, use your gifts and the little things will matter the most.
Meet Kelli Pfitzner and Learn How Mr. Otis Met his Wife
Behind the Scenes Conversation
Bridge The Gap’s Statement of Immediate Need
“We are in need of a van to transport our food and materials needed to better serve the community. Over the past few months, we have grown and seen a much greater need for a vehicle that allows us to transport during all types of weather. We have had to turn down donations of food because it’s raining or it’s too hot outside. We have had to make multiple trips to pickup donations because our personal cars are just not large enough. We have had to postpone the delivery of items needed for families due to our reliable transportation issues. We pick up hundreds of pounds of food a week, hygiene, and everyday items. We’ve spent much of our budget on renting moving trucks and vans so we can still collect and distribute items needed in the community. Your gifts help ensure we won’t ever have to turn down a donation. We can fulfill our promises to our families in need and those assisting. Every little bit helps!”