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Team Rubicon volunteers help Omaha homeowners in need with debris

Published: Jul. 18, 2021 at 5:51 PM CDT
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - As cleanup from last weekend’s storm continues, volunteer groups are helping some of Omaha’s vulnerable community members.

Team Rubicon is a nonprofit organization made up of volunteers from around the county. They step in to assist following disasters.

70% of volunteers for the organization are veterans, and another 20% are first responders.

Two groups of volunteers are cleaning debris from private residences in Omaha following the storms, and their goal is to lend a hand to those who can’t do the work themselves or can’t afford to pay someone to do it.

Called “Operation Husker Strong,” they prioritize the elderly and people with disabilities. So far, they have completed eight homes and have over 100 requests.

“They’re in a position while they have great devastation, they probably could not afford a lump sum to come in and pay to have all this debris removed or take it to the curb, it’s just too much for them to physically do it themselves or pay someone to do it,” says Team Rubicon volunteer Mark Coffin.

Team Rubicon Incident Commander Mike West came to Omaha from Denver with volunteers to help and he was also in town after the 2019 floods. On Sunday morning, Mayor Stothert commended the efforts that so many have taken to support one another this past week.

“One thing that I have seen about this storm is the goodness of people helping people, neighbors helping neighbors. I’ve seen that all over Omaha, people pitching in to help each other, and this team, Team Rubicon is just an example of that,” said Stothert.

Coffin says being part of Team Rubicon is his way of continuing to serve the community following his retirement from the military after 27 years.

“This helps me become who I’m supposed to be, a better person. We’re all community, we all serve together, the more people we can have step forward and serve, the better everyone else,” he tells 6 News.

You can recognize the volunteers by the sound of their chainsaws and the grey t-shirts with their first names proudly...

Posted by Jean Stothert on Sunday, July 18, 2021

The mayor also mentions that piles can be however high just as long the length of 4 feet or less with a diameter of 6 inches or less is good. She also brings up that an emergency declaration to request federal aid is still on the governor’s desk.

Team Rubicon will be providing their free services to those in need through the remainder of the week, and West says a call to other volunteers who live within a 450 mile radius has been made, with hopes of more people coming to help.

You can request their services from the United Way of the Midlands by dialing 211 between 8 a.m. - 4 p.m. Monday - Friday.

You can visit Team Rubicon’s website to donate and support their efforts.

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