Operation Supply Drop
Stop me when you have heard this before, “I thought video games were for little kids?” “You are just wasting time with those dumb games.” “Grown men should not be playing games.” We have all probably heard some variation of these phrases, but as a part of a the first generation that grew up playing video games as long as I could remember they have been a big part of my life. Whether it was during those awkward stages of middle school, the formative years of kindergarten and early grade school, or college with the fraternity, video games have been there. So how do they fit into my adult life in a way that benefits not only myself, but others as well? This brings me to today’s topic: Operation Supply Drop.
Typically on ThisGenGaming you will find opinion articles, gaming reviews, and previews of what is up next in the gaming world, but I want to share with you a different type of piece, highlighting something I truly believe to be important and of consequential value. Operation Supply Drop has been helping active and veteran service members of our armed services to occupy their time, heal their wounds, and bind them together since 2010. I recently had the opportunity to speak with Gray Hogan, a Navy Vet, who handles most of the public relations work amongst various other tasks for Operation Supply Drop. What follows is a summary of some of the things we discussed about where OSD came from, what their goals are, and where they are going.
OSD arose from the need for “fun where this is none” as is stated in OSD’s motto. What started as a small support group dedicated to our military personnel has transformed into a well oiled machine having dropped 89 OSD packages this year alone. Most non-profit charity organizations require around 80% of their donations to go towards operating costs, but OSD runs on about 12% of donations so that as much goes towards those in need as possible. If you were to take a quick visit to operationsupplydrop.org you would find a litany of blog posts and news articles about the incredible generosity and kindness that has been shown to our service men and woman through OSD.
Not only do they meet the needs of entertainment but OSD is also seeking to make even more of an impact with our troops returning back home. Through reintegration programs, counseling, and relationship building efforts, they have seen amazing stories of recovery. While there are many organizations out there who want to help out or say that they “support the troops,” it’s OSD’s desire that people will start to ask critical questions about “how” they are actually supporting the troops. Not everyone can make a cash donation or be involved in a veterans support program, but this is where we as gamers can make a difference.
What you can do to help
OSD recognized long ago the impact that the gaming community can have one a person’s life. No matter the game you play, I am sure you have seen some story about a life that was touched through gaming. Whether it was a child with a terminal illness, someone experiencing great loss, or circumstances ruining someone’s life, gamers want to touch other’s lives for the better at a basic level. Sure, there are those internet trolls out there who would wish the worst upon people, but OSD’s trust that those are in the minority fuels their passion for reaching others. The goals of OSD, therefore, were designed to achieve maximum effect by targeting the biggest needs in the military community. They do three specific things with which you can help!
Supply drops are their biggest and most popular service to date. As mentioned earlier, they have already dropped 89 supply packages this year alone. These take the form of donated materials, financial contributions that are then used to buy supplies, or other means that can be used to help. You can participate in one of these drops by donating to through their web link above. A second way that they are helping the community is by offering “thank you deployments.” These are once in a lifetime experiences offered to those who have made a significant impact in the military community whether it be volunteer experience or acts of service in active duty. The final way that OSD supports the military community is through their local “Teams.” A “Team” is a group of local volunteers and veterans who gather together regularly for support and fun. Becoming part of one of these teams is an easy way to begin putting in the “how” of the support the troops movement.
As a quick recapitulation of what we have seen and learned so far about OSD. Their goals are to raise awareness of the problems facing troops oversees and their reintegration into home life, raise funds to supply troops oversees on active duty with safe fun alternatives, and create healthy team environments back at home. If you feel like you could be involved in any of these incredible opportunities I would encourage you to visit them on their web site or social networking platforms for more information.
Where’s OSD going next?
While OSD has surely done some great things in the past, it’s the future about which they are clearly energized. In the coming weeks and months they will continue to drop supply packages and bless those who are giving so much for our country, but they also plan to roll out some neat new initiatives. I will not say more about it yet, but when the time comes, please be sure to stay locked in here and on OSD’s various news outlets to find out how you can get involved. If you want to become involved immediately, I would encourage you to jump in with a local team or collect resources to be sent out to the next supply drop.