UW-Madison grad organizing relief effort to help Superstorm Sandy victims

CREATED Oct 31, 2012

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MILWAUKEE - You may know him as number 78 or Badger Jake, but one University of Wisconsin-Madison graduate founded an organization that's helping folks outside the borders of our state.

"We currently have about 10 teams activated up and down the east coast, over 100 volunteers are working from Washington DC all the way to New York City," Jake Wood tells TODAY'S TMJ4's Jesse Ritka via Skype.

Jake Wood is the driving force behind Team Rubicon, a non-profit he started after an earthquake hit Haiti.  "The Wisconsin idea, that notion of service above self, that's one of the things that motivated me to enlist in the marine corps and I think one of the things that continues to motivate me and the rest of the people of Team Rubicon," Wood explains.

It gives military veterans like Jake the chance to use their skills off the battlefield.  "We're trying to provide for them an opportunity to come home and continue that service and use all those skills that they learned for war to continue to help their neighbors in times of crisis like this and that's exactly what we're doing," says Wood.

Team Rubicon dubbed this "Operation Grease Lightning."  And while all the volunteers responding to Superstorm Sandy live on the East Coast, veterans in Wisconsin may soon be helping out.  "We've actually already been receiving requests from both Wisconsin and Minnesota, and as a Badger, I tend to lean toward Wisconsin rather than those Gophers," Wood says.

But it's because of this Badger, that more than 100 veterans are a part of Team Rubicon's largest response effort so far.

Click here to donate or learn more about Team Rubicon.