Sunday, November 13, 2016

Team Rubicon continues to serve

When a magnitude 7.0 earthquake shook Haiti early in 2010, hundreds of thousands of people were killed and almost a million left homeless. Water and medical help were cut off; food lines and tent cities sprang up amid the rubble. 

Two US Marines decided to help. Jake Wood and William McNulty rounded up six other veterans and first responders. With money and medical supplies donated by friends and family, they flew to the Dominican Republic and drove into Haiti in a rented truck. 

Relief agencies were already in place, helping many thousands of people. This group of ex-military and first responders decided their mission was to get to the people outside the reach of the other aid agencies. They voluntarily crossed into 'unsafe' areas, crossing their Rubicon and committing themselves to do what they could to help. And help they did. 

Since then, the non-profit Team Rubicon has grown exponentially. Team Rubicon USA alone has 35,000 volunteers who stand ready to be deployed to disaster areas. Teams have been deployed around the world to help victims of floods, fires, earthquakes, tornadoes, and to provide humanitarian aid. Their mission is to unite "the skills and experiences of military veterans with first responders to rapidly deploy emergency response teams."

 The men and women of Team Rubicon have been getting some good press for their service, including this video on Sunday TODAY with Willie Geist. They even have their own YouTube channel. 

Obviously, the folks receiving the generous help from Team Rubicon are incredibly grateful. And it works both ways - those who do the giving are also blessed. As one community leader said, "I support Team Rubicon not only for the important job they are fulfilling by getting experienced first responders on the ground to disaster areas, but what they provide in allowing our veterans to use the leadership, operational, and technical skills they honed in the military to serve their fellow citizens in times of desperate need."

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