Hurricane Matthew has recently rocked the Caribbean Islands and the southern coast of the United States. While not as bad as previous hurricanes such as Katrina in 2005 or Sandy in 2012, this one took its toll.
If you’re like me, you sit here in the middle-western US and twiddle your thumbs, empathy for those unfortunate souls surging through your brain; but along with that empathy is a terrible helplessness that may trouble you even more. What can we do that will make a real difference in the lives of those people?
Well, just short of travelling to the affected areas and getting your hands dirty, the only real option is to give some of your hard (or relatively easy)-earned income to foundations that are putting boots on the ground in Haiti, Louisiana, and other disaster-ridden areas around the world.
Once such organization, Team Rubicon, is fulfilling a dual purpose.
In 2010, a 7.0 earthquake shook Haiti to its core. Two former Marines decided they were done twiddling their thumbs; they gathered a small team, as well as some supplies, and headed down to Haiti to begin assisting in the search and rescue process.
Team Rubicon was born.
You see, most veterans find a profound usefulness while in the service; a usefulness unlike any other. They discover that even while they may be merely following the orders of a powerful war machine, their hands have a purpose; their feet have a direction; their lives mean something larger than they ever have before, even if only to the men and women next to them. Eat, sleep, complete the mission. Eat, sleep, complete the mission. Over and over.
Upon exit from this meaningful service, some vets are struck with a frustrating sense of uselessness. They bounce from job to job, if they even find a job, and struggle to attain the same purpose that they had before.
Team Rubicon can fill this void. They are built entirely on volunteerism, mainly from veterans or former first responders who have necessary skills in dangerous, high-stress situations. This work may call for the bravery to swim through a flooding house to pull out a woman and her children; it may call for the physical labor to move debris to a centralized location; it may call for the poise to administer medical aid to those in need; it may call for the knowledge to rebuild. Whatever the needs, those on Team Rubicon are there to meet them.
Their force grows daily, and they respond to natural disasters worldwide. If you are a veteran who wants that purpose again, that vitality of living, then check them out; they need your help.
If you don’t feel that you have any skills, or that you have too much on your plate right now but would like to help those who are deploying, know that giving of yourself isn’t the only way. Giving of a small amount of your income will enable them to complete their mission. Not only will you be allowing Team Rubicon to help those around the world who desperately need it, but you will be giving veterans a renewed hope of purpose, a reason to live.
Click over to teamrubiconusa.org, and consider volunteering or donating today!