After Hurricane Sandy passed over New York City, members of Team Rubicon used a special military computer program to pinpoint areas where people needed help.
Team Rubicon is a group that brings together military veterans so they can use their skills to help when natural disasters strike. Most recently, Team Rubicon has been working to help people recover from the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. The team’s missions have also included relief efforts for victims of a flood in Pakistan and the tornadoes in Joplin, Missouri.
The idea for Team Rubicon started after an earthquake struck Haiti in 2010. Jake Wood, a United States Marine who had served in Iraq and Afghanistan, wanted to help the Haitian people. He realized his military training made him uniquely prepared to help in a disaster situation. Soon, two friends, fellow Marine Will McNulty and firefighter Jeff Lang, offered to join him, and Team Rubicon was born. Over several weeks, more than 60 people from military or medical backgrounds arrived in Haiti to work with Team Rubicon. They set up medical treatment centers, brought people to hospitals, and helped in whatever way they could. Wood estimates that they helped thousands of Haitians.
When American veterans return home from military service, they often want to continue to serve. They also want to find ways to get back into everyday life. Team Rubicon gives them a way to do this. It also gives them a way to connect with other veterans with similar goals.
Team Rubicon has grown to include more than 16,000 volunteers. Most of them are military veterans. Others are first responders or medical professionals. Together the volunteers have gone on more than 37 missions. They have helped people in 11 countries. In December 2012, Team Rubicon won $125,000 at the Chase American Giving Awards to help support the work that they do.