In an improbable chain of events – a chain forged from determination and cooperation  – a vital shipment of medical-grade sanitizer spray is now in the hands of frontline workers in remote First Nations communities in Northern Ontario at a crucial time in this global health crisis.

Cases of COVID-19 have started to appear.

At last report, there were seven confirmed in one community, Gull Bay, hundreds of kilometers north of Thunder Bay.

In many of these communities, local clinics may not be staffed; there are no doctors, or nurses on-site and no beds. Acute care and Intensive Care in hospitals can be a four or five hour drive away. There is often no ambulance service.

In an improbable chain of events – a chain forged from determination and cooperation  – a vital shipment of medical-grade sanitizer spray is now in the hands of frontline workers in remote First Nations communities in Northern Ontario at a crucial time in this global health crisis.

Cases of COVID-19 have started to appear.

At last report, there were seven confirmed in one community, Gull Bay, hundreds of kilometers north of Thunder Bay.

In many of these communities, local clinics may not be staffed; there are no doctors, or nurses on-site and no beds. Acute care and Intensive Care in hospitals can be a four or five hour drive away. There is often no ambulance service.

Don Richardson/Shared Values Solutions (and Supply Chain Builder)

Don Richardson/Shared Values Solutions (and Supply Chain Builder)

“There’s little PPE in these communities, or access to hand sanitizers. Frontline workers don’t have the basics to keep their hands clean.  With a virus that can infect so fast within these small densely populated communities, they’re very vulnerable.”

-Don Richardson/Shared Values Solutions (and Supply Chain Builder)

“There’s little PPE in these communities, or access to hand sanitizers. Frontline workers don’t have the basics to keep their hands clean.  With a virus that can infect so fast within these small densely populated communities, they’re very vulnerable.”

-Don Richardson/Shared Values Solutions (and Supply Chain Builder)

Even soap and water simply isn’t available in many situations where medical and security staff have to handle everything coming into and going out of indigenous communities under lockdown in an effort to keep out a cruel and persistent enemy.

That includes transferring residents who need medical attention outside their “hometown” and bringing in the necessities of life including food and any other supplies needed.

The story of how a small-scale distillery in the town of Elmira teamed up with a few colleagues in the Craft Spirits industry, coming to the rescue is complicated and very inspiring.

An invented supply chain began taking shape, in no small part, through the vision and efforts of a generous soul with strong corporate and community connections. Don Richardson of Shared Values Solutions in Guelph. 

He operates a human environment consulting firm with a pledge to “remove obstacles to prosperity”.

The partnership has a wide variety of clients and many, varied contacts. 

A new one is Covidhealth, a Waterloo Region grassroots organization determined to gather and distribute PPE to the frontlines. The group was seeking the raw ingredients to make hand sanitizer to help fill the demand for that precious commodity to frontline workers anywhere.

Don had a clear picture of how desperate the situation was for First Nations communities in northern Ontario and how to bring everyone together in a human chain of  action.

Even soap and water simply isn’t available in many situations where medical and security staff have to handle everything coming into and going out of indigenous communities under lockdown in an effort to keep out a cruel and persistent enemy.

That includes transferring residents who need medical attention outside their “hometown” and bringing in the necessities of life including food and any other supplies needed.

The story of how a small-scale distillery in the town of Elmira teamed up with a few colleagues in the Craft Spirits industry, coming to the rescue is complicated and very inspiring.

An invented supply chain began taking shape, in no small part, through the vision and efforts of a generous soul with strong corporate and community connections. Don Richardson of Shared Values Solutions in Guelph. 

He operates a human environment consulting firm with a pledge to “remove obstacles to prosperity”.

The partnership has a wide variety of clients and many, varied contacts. 

A new one is Covidhealth, a Waterloo Region grassroots organization determined to gather and distribute PPE to the frontlines. The group was seeking the raw ingredients to make hand sanitizer to help fill the demand for that precious commodity to frontline workers anywhere.

Don had a clear picture of how desperate the situation was for First Nations communities in northern Ontario and how to bring everyone together in a human chain of  action.

“Really satisfying to seeing how quickly all the organizations and individuals came together, because this is an urgent need”

– Don Richardson/Shared Values Solutions

“Really satisfying to seeing how quickly all the organizations and individuals came together, because this is an urgent need”

– Don Richardson/Shared Values Solutions

With the help of Ontario Chamber of Commerce, 

a major International liquor producer, Diageo agreed to donate twenty thousand liters of 95% ethanol which small local distilleries could run through their stills to produce a potent recipe made to the standards of the World Health Organization; 80% alcohol. 

Kills germs dead, as they say – including the virus COVID-19.

Half that donation from Diageo was delivered by tanker from Montreal and off-loaded to four Craft Distillers involved in the project: 

Spring Mill Distillery in Guelph, Willibald Farm Distillery in Ayr, Heretic Spirits in Collingwood and Murphy’s Law in Elmira.

With the help of Ontario Chamber of Commerce, 

a major International liquor producer, Diageo agreed to donate twenty thousand liters of 95% ethanol which small local distilleries could run through their stills to produce a potent recipe made to the standards of the World Health Organization; 80% alcohol. 

Kills germs dead, as they say – including the virus COVID-19.

Half that donation from Diageo was delivered by tanker from Montreal and off-loaded to four Craft Distillers involved in the project: 

Spring Mill Distillery in Guelph, Willibald Farm Distillery in Ayr, Heretic Spirits in Collingwood and Murphy’s Law in Elmira.

The Murphy brothers – Ben and Sullivan – own and operate the distillery, putting out small batches of award-winning products, earning them the distinction of Canadian Moonshine Distillery of the year (2016), among others.

When approached by Covidhealth to serve the public by producing much needed hand sanitizer and during this period of slower market demand with all the shutdowns due to the pandemic…the answer was “Yes”!

The Murphy brothers – Ben and Sullivan – own and operate the distillery, putting out small batches of award-winning products, earning them the distinction of Canadian Moonshine Distillery of the year (2016), among others.

When approached by Covidhealth to serve the public by producing much needed hand sanitizer and during this period of slower market demand with all the shutdowns due to the pandemic…the answer was “Yes”!

“Feels great to be able to participate in a community effort to help out in this way that only distillers can.”

-Ben Murphy/co-owner & operator Murphy’s Law Distillery

“Feels great to be able to participate in a community effort to help out in this way that only distillers can.”

-Ben Murphy/co-owner & operator Murphy’s Law Distillery

Murphy’s Law agreed to produce hand sanitizer for the frontline workers of the First Nations by making a considerable contribution of their own…

“At cost … absolutely.”

In other words, providing the means of production, labour, and other required ingredients (glycerol, hydrogen peroxide and distilled water) 

That’s a lot of added value, so this was really a “give-give “situation.

To the Murphy brothers, it’s also a win-win,

“The Important piece for me is that I can keep my guys employed.”

The brothers have two full time and two part time workers they’ve been able to keep fully employed.

And they’ve been busy all right, running their stills ten hours a day for three days straight. 

Together with the cooperation of the other small-scale operators, six thousand liters of a liquid hand sanitizing spray was made to order for the northern Indigenous communities in desperate need,  and with no other source.

Now, shipping out all that essential product met with quite a few obstacles due the fact that even with volunteers willing to transport it, the high alcohol content makes it  “hazardous material”. Documentation, proper licensing and logistics took weeks … but as pointed out earlier – this supply chain was created through a great deal of determination, and truckloads of good will.

Up North, anticipation was high.

Murphy’s Law agreed to produce hand sanitizer for the frontline workers of the First Nations by making a considerable contribution of their own…

“At cost … absolutely.”

In other words, providing the means of production, labour, and other required ingredients (glycerol, hydrogen peroxide and distilled water) 

That’s a lot of added value, so this was really a “give-give “situation.

To the Murphy brothers, it’s also a win-win,

“The Important piece for me is that I can keep my guys employed.”

The brothers have two full time and two part time workers they’ve been able to keep fully employed.

And they’ve been busy all right, running their stills ten hours a day for three days straight. 

Together with the cooperation of the other small-scale operators, six thousand liters of a liquid hand sanitizing spray was made to order for the northern Indigenous communities in desperate need,  and with no other source.

Now, shipping out all that essential product met with quite a few obstacles due the fact that even with volunteers willing to transport it, the high alcohol content makes it  “hazardous material”. Documentation, proper licensing and logistics took weeks … but as pointed out earlier – this supply chain was created through a great deal of determination, and truckloads of good will.

Up North, anticipation was high.

“I’ve been getting calls almost daily from communities who had no source or could not afford what was available.”

– Ginny Michano/ Economic Development Corporation of Pawgwasheeng

“I’ve been getting calls almost daily from communities who had no source or could not afford what was available.”

– Ginny Michano/ Economic Development Corporation of Pawgwasheeng

Ginny Michano/ Economic Development Corporation of Pawgwasheeng

Ginny Michano/ Economic Development Corporation of Pawgwasheeng

The Ontario Ministry of Indigenous Affairs provided some of the funding to help build the supply chain and keep it operating. 

Global Medic also joined the effort. It’s a Canadian organization focused on helping provide medical equipment and sanitation supplies to remote areas.

In partnership with Procter and Gamble hundreds of bottles of household cleaners, and personal hygiene products were also contributed.  AMI Campbell volunteered to ship the truckload of supplies north.

The Ontario Ministry of Indigenous Affairs provided some of the funding to help build the supply chain and keep it operating. 

Global Medic also joined the effort. It’s a Canadian organization focused on helping provide medical equipment and sanitation supplies to remote areas.

In partnership with Procter and Gamble hundreds of bottles of household cleaners, and personal hygiene products were also contributed.  AMI Campbell volunteered to ship the truckload of supplies north.

“It’s overwhelming to hear the story of all these people working to make and organize and transport this desperately needed resource.” 

– Ginny Michano

“It’s overwhelming to hear the story of all these people working to make and organize and transport this desperately needed resource.” 

– Ginny Michano

But, Don Richardson is perhaps the strongest link in the chain. 

His ‘eyes on the front lines’ on the northern shores of Lake Superior is Ginny Michano.

As the representative for the Economic Development Corporation of Pawgwasheeng, she and Don have worked together on other issues.

But, Don Richardson is perhaps the strongest link in the chain. 

His ‘eyes on the front lines’ on the northern shores of Lake Superior is Ginny Michano.

As the representative for the Economic Development Corporation of Pawgwasheeng, she and Don have worked together on other issues.

“Don very key to this operation – very genuine – you feel the compassion.”

– Ginny Michano/Pawgwasheeng Economic Development Corporation

“Don very key to this operation – very genuine – you feel the compassion.”

– Ginny Michano/Pawgwasheeng Economic Development Corporation

MAP OF WHERE DELIVERIES WILL GO

Map if where deliveries will go

MAP OF WHERE DELIVERIES WILL GO

Map if where deliveries will go

Although First Nations are among his clients, this is not the usual kind of relationship. This time, he says,

“Motivation was from the front lines”

Ginny’s home community of Pays Plat is one of the fifteen communities who will be getting a portion of the vital resource. Since the last forty liters of commercial hand sanitizer were scrounged from an area Canadian Tire over a month ago, every drop has been carefully doled out, but the stock had dwindled to trickle. The donation of thousands of liters of hand sanitizer has come as a huge relief, 

“People are very emotional  – tears of joy.” And the gratitude is deep.

“Very humbling – very amazing to see how this whole process came together to help us.”

There will be three major delivery points and then al supplies will be spread around to about a hundred communities altogether.

Although First Nations are among his clients, this is not the usual kind of relationship. This time, he says,

“Motivation was from the front lines”

Ginny’s home community of Pays Plat is one of the fifteen communities who will be getting a portion of the vital resource. Since the last forty liters of commercial hand sanitizer were scrounged from an area Canadian Tire over a month ago, every drop has been carefully doled out, but the stock had dwindled to trickle. The donation of thousands of liters of hand sanitizer has come as a huge relief, 

“People are very emotional  – tears of joy.” And the gratitude is deep.

“Very humbling – very amazing to see how this whole process came together to help us.”

There will be three major delivery points and then al supplies will be spread around to about a hundred communities altogether.

Packed bottles of hand sanitizers

Packed bottles of hand sanitizers

Packed bottles of hand sanitizers

Packed bottles of hand sanitizers

From the point of delivery in Ginny’s community on the north shores of Lake Superior, the plan was to get hand sanitizer and other supplies to the gates of fifteen quarantined communities spread across an area of five hundred square kilometers, within twenty-four hours. The goal: to get it into the hands of everyone on duty in community policing, security, medical transportation drivers and attendants, and volunteers sorting and distributing food donations. With the help of Staal Engineering & Contracting and DST Engineering to make the deliveries, what had been weeks to arrive, ultimately made it to the frontlines in a day.

And now that a new supply chain has been forged, the foundation has been laid for more assistance to flow North, helping people in remote and vulnerable communities fight the COVID-19 pandemic.

From the point of delivery in Ginny’s community on the north shores of Lake Superior, the plan was to get hand sanitizer and other supplies to the gates of fifteen quarantined communities spread across an area of five hundred square kilometers, within twenty-four hours. The goal: to get it into the hands of everyone on duty in community policing, security, medical transportation drivers and attendants, and volunteers sorting and distributing food donations. With the help of Staal Engineering & Contracting and DST Engineering to make the deliveries, what had been weeks to arrive, ultimately made it to the frontlines in a day.

And now that a new supply chain has been forged, the foundation has been laid for more assistance to flow North, helping people in remote and vulnerable communities fight the COVID-19 pandemic.

Written by: Add writer’s name here

Written by: Add writer’s name here