Team Rubicon assisting storm victims

Team Rubicon, a volunteer organization run by veterans, assists storm victims.

During the recent holiday season, volunteers with Team Rubicon, a veteran-led disaster response organization, laced up their boots to serve the hard-hit communities in western Kentucky.

Team Rubicon launched three operations in Mayfield, Bowling Green and Dawson Springs following the Dec. 10 tornadoes, and continues to work closely with county emergency managers to identify community needs. Team Rubicon volunteers, known as Greyshirts, have already served more than 40 families throughout Western Kentucky.

“The holidays were going to be hard enough already, and nothing can compare to what this community is going through right now,” said Jarrett Brown, a Team Rubicon staff member who is overseeing the operation. “I’m proud of Team Rubicon’s volunteers for stepping into the arena — leaving behind family and friends at a time when they should be gathering to enjoy their company.”

Team Rubicon volunteers are working as part of heavy equipment and chainsaw teams to clear trees and remove debris from residents’ homes while also completing expedient home repairs to minimize further damage to personal property.

Greyshirt Aurora Massaruto has responded to five tornadoes during her nearly seven years as a Team Rubicon volunteer, but she’s never seen anything like the storm that pummeled Western Kentucky. She said the impact of the storm is overwhelming, but it also reminds her why she’s there.

“Serving any community impacted by a disaster is truly my purpose, and I am proud that my oldest son has joined me in serving our communities and our fellow neighbors,” said Massaruto, whose day job is running the COVID-19 testing program at Berea College. “Giving back to those who need a small light at the end of the tunnel is why we are here. We are that beacon of hope for them.”