Before the full extent of Superstorm Sandy had even been felt, Team Rubicon was watching in readiness to mobilize disaster relief, with the result that they were one of the first teams on the ground. Kasey from Brick, NJ, said that Team Rubicon was “the first and only group of volunteers so far to show up on our street to do labor. Everyone was so kind, and always smiling, and ready to do any task in their power. They helped cut down several trees that had fallen onto roofs/fences.”
More than 1,000 military veterans are currently working toward rebuilding communities and have been assigned by local municipalities to the most devastated areas, due to their expertise and experience in international disaster relief. With small groups sent out to work street by street, managing debris and assessing need, TR is not only a vitally needed boost to strained local infrastructure, but is also providing military veterans with an opportunity for continued service and reintegration.
One of the TR volunteers has found the gratitude of those being helped especially moving: “People already recognize our t-shirts, and many have learned our names as we helped bail water out of basements and garages, and morale noticeably increased as the day went on and we worked side by side with people who were just glad to see others coming out to help. One woman approached us and said that when she saw the generators and shovels coming off the trucks she felt everything had changed, that for the first time there was some hope because help had arrived. It’s one thing to tell yourself that you’re doing something for a good cause; it’s even better to see it in the eyes of those most affected.”
Foundation Beyond Belief has currently sent more than $7,500 to Team Rubicon, and is continuing to collect. The funds are being used to deploy even more teams, with 100% of donations received going straight to funding work in the field. TR has also joined the effort in raising awareness of the relief efforts in the Caribbean by Foundation Beyond Belief’s other Crisis Response beneficiary, International Medical Corps.