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Team Rubicon and Colby Rasmus

Photography by Kirk Jackson and Dana Braverman

Photography by Kirk Jackson and Dana Braverman

“DISASTERS ARE OUR BUSINESS. VETERANS ARE OUR PASSION.”

Meet Team Rubicon

Houston is no stranger to some great philanthropic groups, but one of the latest ones we learned about (thanks to Houston Astros outfielder COLBY RASMUS) is Team Rubicon.

Team Rubicon is the only nonprofit disaster response organization that repurposes the skills of military veterans, uniting their skills and experiences with first responders to rapidly deploy emergency response teams. The organization is currently coordinating alongside local agencies to respond to the ongoing Houston floods as well as the earthquake in Ecuador, among other issues throughout the world. Recently Team Rubicon served Houston, Harris County, Wharton County and other surrounding communi- ties during Operation Moonshot, which was launched in response to the severe flooding the area experienced this spring. From April 23 – May 15, 150 Team Rubicon volunteers from across the country deployed to Texas to serve those affected by the severe weather. The team in Houston logged more than 10,000 volunteer hours (valued at $285,000), and assisted with damage assessments, debris removal, muck out and chainsaw oper- ations, plus volunteer management. All at no charge. But Houston isn’t the only place Team Rubicon is making a huge impact. Since their founding in 2010, Team Rubicon has deployed over 120 disaster response operations around the world. The organization currently maintains a growing roster of 35,000 volunteer members who are ready to deploy, at any given moment, wherever they are needed. (Follow the ticker on their homepage to see their current operations, which are updated regularly.)

But back to Colby Rasmus. Earlier this year, the outfielder known for his outrageous clubhouse celebrations, launched Hitters for Heroes. For every home run he hits this season, Rasmus is donating one thousand dollars to Team Rubicon. Add that to your list of reasons to cheer on Rasmus to homer.

“These men and women have sacrificed so much in the name of our coun- try, and I am honored to help make a difference in their lives while simul- taneously supporting the community of Houston,” Rasmus told Team Rubicon back in April.

But the sports-tie for Team Rubicon goes beyond Rasmus. Co-founder JAKE WOOD recently shared his story from playing football at Wisconsin, to join- ing the Marines, and then onto founding Team Rubicon, a story that was shared with ESPN last month.

Additionally, the University of Texas Longhorn football team worked side by side with Team Rubicon during the Wimberley recovery operation in 2016, and members of the Oklahoma Thunder visited with Team Rubicon during the response to the Moore, Oklahoma tornado in 2013, Team Rubicon explained. Wood and fellow co-founder WILLIAM MCNULTY founded Team Rubicon as a way to continue to give back and serve when their time in uniform had ended. Team Rubicon promotes veteran reintegration and bridges the gap between military and civilian life, which statistics show is not an easy task.

Rasmus hit a career high of 29 home runs last year, so fingers crossed he continues to make an impact on the field and with Team Rubicon.

To learn more, visit teamrubiconusa.org.

(This article originally ran in the July 2016 print issue of LOCAL Houston Magazine. Click here for the online version.)