An Inside Look at The Teams of Canada – London and Kingston
When you see everything that Operation Supply Drop has to offer, it is easy to look at it as a United States-only organization. It is so much more than that. The things that Operation Supply Drop offers is more than a country, it is global. This is people helping people, plain and simple. This week we are focusing on two teams in Ontario, Canada: Team London and Team Kingston.
Located between Lake Huron and Lake Erie is London, Ontario, Canada. The population is below half a million people, but it does not lack those who care and want to help others.
Todd Clark is the team’s Veteran Co-Leader since May 2015 when the team was formed. He was a Corporal with the 2nd Battalion Irish Regiment of Canada, which is an infantry role. Todd has had family serve in the military as well, which drives his desire to give back and the men and women of the Armed Forces all over the world.
Todd puts forth the utmost effort to spread the word about Operation Supply Drop.We also went to Fan Expo and handed out flyers to help spread the word that OSD was in Canada. He has seen the support for Canadian Veterans improve as he visits the local base from time to time and talks with those stationed there. Todd has plans to talk to other bases in the region and up in Sudbury where he is originally from.
Back in November 2015, Team London had their launch party where about 20 people were in attendance. There was gaming on Xbox and pool for entertainment, and some great food was eaten. Since the team’s inception, there have been monthly events that just gather people together to have fun, like playing mini-golf or going to the movies. There’s an upcoming event with the team to go see “Zoolander 2”, where they will dress up for it. In March, they plan to take a tour of The Royal Canadian Regiment Museum.
Todd reflects on his efforts and commitments thus far: “I am very proud to be helping out here in Canada with OSD and I will be doing my best to improve and grow the Canadian side of OSD as it is very important to me that Canada be a very big factor in the OSD programs. Canada has a long military history and if we can help out in some small way to improve the lives of our military men and women then I will be more than happy to do that.”
Helming the role of the Civilian Co-leader is Jay McDonnell. While he has not served, that hasn’t affected his determination and willingness to help others. Select members in his family have served before him, such as his grandfather who was in World War II. While serving as Co-Leader in London, Jay has even helped out other teams, such as Team Kingston which is a couple hour’s drive away. Jay is committed to expanding the awareness of the Operation Supply Drop name.
Jay met Todd in an odd encounter, “One day at work Todd came up to me asking about my poppy tattoo and if i ever served, i told me no but my grandpa did and the tattoo was to honor him, Todd then told me about wanting to start a OSD team in the London area and asked if i would be willing to help out.” And the rest is history, so they say.
Jay is a new father, and wants to spend that time with her. Though that hasn’t fully restrained him from helping the OSD team. An upcoming event will be going to the CFB London Junior Ranks Club night and talking to the men and women there to get to know them personally. Jay wants to help veterans in anyway the team or he can, and if Operation Supply Drop can’t offer the help needed, he will find the right person or group or organization that can.
Four hours northeast is Kingston, Ontario, Canada is smaller than that of London, Ontario, but is no less in need for veterans to receive support and camaraderie. Even several hours apart, Team London and Team Kingston work together..
Shawn “Sheepdog” Lawrence is the Team Leader for Operation Supply Drop in Kingston, and is pulling double duty whilst a Veteran and still serving as a Master Corporal. Shawn goes on to detail his history in the armed forces and experience with Operation Supply Drop:
“Serving with the Canadian forces since 2005, I have had the opportunity to visit many countries, providing support to NATO missions and sharing the trenches with our closest allies the US forces. Suffering an injury as a result of my last deployment to Afghanistan, I have sought out avenues to give back where it was needed. OSD gave me just that! Glenn, Ray, Lou and Scott have made working with OSD effortless, yet very meaningful. It’s been like we have served together our whole careers, it’s the brotherhood.”
For Shawn, Operation Supply Drop is providing a unique set of services to our soldiers and their families. It’s something that has never been brought to Canadians before, that is now being fulfilled. And he as a gamer finds it to be a perfect fit while being able to give back, whether that’s providing drops or hosting venues, troops can be shown how important they are and that Operation Supply Drop is there for them no matter what.
Team Kingston has made the first official supply drop to CFB Trenton with CFB Borden, with Petawawa and Kingston in line to relieve theirs shortly. Team Kingston has established an online presence, and they have been able to reach out to bases across the country. Team Kingston isn’t limited themselves to just their immediate area, and will be working with other bases across Canada. There’s also Borden, Kingston and Petawawa are in the queue to receive similar drops. Team Kingston has big plans for 2016, in hopes to provide bigger and better support to Canadians where they can. Shawn hopes that the footprint of Operation Supply Drop gets bigger and deeper.
Operation Supply Drop’s reach is growing by the day, thanks to the help of Todd and Jay of Team London, and Shawn at Team Kingston. The effort, volunteer-work, and sheer commitment to Operation Supply Drop is awe-inspiring, showing that anybody civilian or veteran can contribute to help others. If you want to join The Teams of Operation Supply Drop, you can start here to get involved.