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Merrell Donates Boots And Sweat To Team Rubicon In Houston

Patch logo Patch 3/18/2019 Bryan Kirk
a group of people posing in front of a house © Provided by Planck, LLC, d/b/a Patch Media

HOUSTON — It's been more than a year since Hurricane Harvey made landfall, and while any of the organizations and volunteers who stayed to help Houstonians in the weeks that followed, very few are still here to help.

Among those groups is Team Rubicon, an organization of mostly hardcore military veterans who have committed to rebuilding 100 homes in Houston by 2020.

Recently, officials with Merrell, an organization that specializes in rugged outdoor wear, were in town for a day of volunteering as well as to make a special donation of boots and other gear to Team Rubicon.

"We've been partnering with Team Rubicon since last year, providing everything from boots to monetary support," Merrell spokesperson Lauren King said. "We knew we wanted to come back and broaden our partnership this year."

Brian Calcagno, Team Rubicon's junior associate of strategic partnerships, said Team Rubicion would not exist on the same level as it does now without viable corporate partners like Merrell.

"We do what we do best, and we partner with the rest," he said. "When we are putting volunteers in a house, where they are doing something that's dangerous, Merrell's providing protective equipment that we can put on our volunteers."

a group of people standing in a room: Volunteers with Team Rubicon and Merrell team up to rebuild a home ravaged by Hurricane Harvey in southeast Houston. (Image: Felix Sanchez) © Provided by Planck, LLC, d/b/a Patch Media Volunteers with Team Rubicon and Merrell team up to rebuild a home ravaged by Hurricane Harvey in southeast Houston. (Image: Felix Sanchez)

On an overcast March morning, Merrell representatives rolled up their sleeves and hung sheetrock inside a home at 5652 Bonsrell Street in southeast Houston.

The inside, like many homes damaged by Hurricane Harvey, was completely gutted, and torn down to the studs. Although there is city drainage in front of the home, the vintage home still flooded.

Greg Glover, Merrell's head of product development, said Merrell had worked with Team Rubicon on community initiatives in Detroit, but this was his first rebuilding of hurricane ravaged homes.

"Community goes way beyond just the structures and the neighborhood," Glover said. "These people though, they are anchored here and they are not going to be chased out."

Work is going on inside of 5652 Bonsrell Street that is punctuated by the pounding of hammers and the constant and near deafening whine of power tools.

The old drywall has long been ripped from the studs of the 1920s-style home, which typically can reveal other issues related to outdated electrical and plumbing before it can be made livable again.

There is a sense of urgency with many of the volunteers, who have a goal of having the family hack in their home by the end of March.

"We are striving to help those individuals and families who can't help themselves," Calcagno said.

To volunteer with Team Rubicon or to make a donation, click here.

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