Would you like to meet a doggy who is afraid to leave his toys behind when he goes on vacation?
Well, meet Ollie.
Credit: Imgur/OctopussSevenTwo pic.twitter.com/Tr2GS4k3HG
— Danny Deraney (@DannyDeraney) July 8, 2021
After days roaming the rubble, Surfside survivor Binx the cat was reunited with his family https://t.co/EYX6awrGq6
— The Washington Post (@washingtonpost) July 11, 2021
… The Gonzalez family, one of the many devastated by the collapse of Champlain Towers South, was missing its black cat. Angela Gonzalez and her 16-year-old daughter had fallen several stories when the building collapsed, CBS Miami reported, and Angela broke her pelvis but still managed to drag her child from the rubble…
Sixteen days after the collapse — when the rescue mission had shifted to a recovery, the remaining condos had been knocked down and hope was waning for many — Binx the cat was reunited with his family. A small army of animal lovers made the reunion possible…
The Gonzalez family’s older daughter went to the Kitty Campus on Friday to take a look at the cat, Tator said. She FaceTimed her mother and sister to verify what she suspected — it really was Binx. The photos the advocates had seen were taken before his ear was tipped, Garcia said.
“Her smile was priceless,” Tator said. “I was praying for this little miracle to happen.”
In a video from Miami-Dade Fire Rescue’s Media and Public Relations team, the daughter confirms: “It’s definitely him.”
“I’m kind of shocked,” she says in the clip. “But we already had a feeling that if one of our animals were to make it, it would be him.”
Binx had been an outdoor cat before the Gonzalez family adopted him, Diamond said the older daughter told volunteers.
“I think what helped this guy out is that he used to live outside,” Diamond said. “I think he did so well because he was already a street-savvy little guy.”…
Striking story from @JulieZauzmer about one of D.C.'s vaccine lottery winners, Sung-ha Jou, who has suffered so many blows during the pandemic. “This is literally God-sent. I am so grateful for this." https://t.co/L2VZANc5Jq
— Rachel Kurzius (@Curious_Kurz) July 11, 2021
Another story that’s totally worth the click:
For Sung-ha Jou, a 44-year-old Air Force veteran, one disaster kept leading to the next during the coronavirus pandemic. He lost his job during the early weeks of the pandemic, then eventually his home, his van and his other sources of support. By the time coronavirus vaccines became widespread, Jou was arriving, destitute, at a D.C. homeless shelter.
Meanwhile, the District was putting in place an initiative that several states and cities across the country have tried: lotteries with big-ticket prizes. In D.C., the initiative included a free car and $10,000 grocery store gift cards, to induce reluctant residents to get their coronavirus vaccines.
On his first day at the shelter, Jou got a vaccine. And this week, to his great surprise, he learned he had also won the lottery.
His prize: a year of free rides on the D.C. Metro system…
Jou said the day in June that he got his shot was one of his bleakest days. “When I first got to the shelter, I was very dejected, and I was feeling very hopeless. Everything I had is gone. And I just had no idea how to get back on my own two feet again,” he said.
Now he is more hopeful. After two weeks in the shelter, he moved with help from a hotline for veterans into a transitional home in Southeast Washington for veterans seeking permanent housing, where he has his own room and professional help. He is working with a mental health provider, who is also helping him reapply for food stamps.
All of those appointments — from medical visits to trips to Veterans Affairs for assistance — used to mean long journeys on foot. Most days, he walked miles in D.C.’s muggy summer heat from the shelter in Congress Heights across the high-traffic 11th Street Bridge into the parts of the city west of the Anacostia where he had his appointments.
Thanks to the vaccine lottery, he can now ride Metro trains and buses free. “How did they know I needed this?” he marvels.
Soon, he said, he hopes he’ll find a job in D.C. He can’t wait to take the Metro to work.