JACKSONVILLE, Fla., (March 30, 2016) – In a groundbreaking partnership, Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) today announced that it will be investing $9 million over the next five years in Team Rubicon, an organization that unites the skills and experience of military veterans with first responders to rapidly deploy emergency response teams.
This commitment builds on previous transformative investments with agencies like The Mission Continues ($9 million) and America’s Warrior Partnership, Inc. ($11.5 million) that are designed to dramatically improve service provision to warriors and their families. Between 2012 and 2015, WWP invested nearly $11 million to more than 90 organizations that provide programs and services to WWP Alumni, families and caregivers. This investment signals the evolution of WWP’s partnership strategy to further expand services through partner organizations and collaborate on programs that achieve long-term, meaningful impact on the lives of the wounded warriors and families being served.
“Team Rubicon is excited to enter into this long-term partnership with Wounded Warrior Project,” said Jake Wood, Team Rubicon CEO, and Co-Founder. “We have worked together for the past two years and have seen an increase in WWP alumni participation, allowing Team Rubicon to substantively engage more veterans and provide them with an outlet to serve their community in new and meaningful ways following disasters. Conversely, Wounded Warrior Project has served as an incredible partner capable of assisting our qualifying veterans with numerous critical services and opportunities. WWP's investment in our growth demonstrates their commitment to the veteran space and their willingness to use their resources for the good of wounded veterans everywhere.”
Team Rubicon is poised to lead in the growing global push for more “resilient cities.” As global weather patterns shift and the risk faced by residents of cities and rural communities to natural disasters heightens, this effort is needed more than ever. Team Rubicon has a proven record of mobilizing veteran-led teams to disaster areas throughout the US and internationally, with remarkable results. Through the partnership with WWP, Team Rubicon can help build the ability of cities to respond to natural disasters by activating trained, local veterans to rise and serve as natural disasters occur. This “next generation volunteer fire department” model creates immediate support for affected areas, as Team Rubicon trained veterans help as the crisis unfolds, rather than wait for external relief agencies to mobilize.
“We all remember the images of New Orleans as Hurricane Katrina left millions stranded, cut off from family and essential resources, waiting for external agencies to mobilize and help,” said Ned Breslin, executive vice president for Partnerships and Programmatic Investments at WWP. “Now imagine if local Team Rubicon members and WWP alumni from New Orleans had been ready and able to deploy instantaneously. Residents would have been helped at the height of the crisis by veterans who understand how to save lives during a crisis. During any disaster, Team Rubicon can step into the breach, immediately mobilize their network of 35,000 volunteers, and save lives. Moreover, Team Rubicon would then be poised to help with essential post-disaster recovery. It’s a new model that will dramatically change the way cities respond to inevitable natural disasters: with local, veteran-led teams ready to serve.”
Team Rubicon has developed service training platforms around the country that will give WWP Alumni and other post-9/11 veteran’s on-going engagement and community service opportunities. WWP will contribute to this effort by offering Team Rubicon members the opportunity to participate in the 20 free direct programs and services WWP has to offer.
“These partnerships exist to address key gaps in services needed and scale proven models of success that truly transform the lives of injured veterans forever,” said Breslin. “We know that one organization alone cannot meet the needs of all veterans. As such, WWP will continue to make strategic investments that complement the free programs and services that we provide and serve to enhance our ability to honor and empower wounded warriors. What better a form of empowerment than to help our alumni find continued paths for community and national service? Additionally, in the end, the needs of veterans are better served when agencies use their combined strengths and focus on the best ways to solve the issues facing this generation of warriors. This is precisely what we are doing with Team Rubicon.”
WWP focuses on providing funding to exceptional organizations that operate in underserved areas or fulfill a need outside the scope of its 20 direct programs and services. This effort is part of a larger strategy to build a collaborative network of high caliber organizations that provide innovative and effective services, addressing the most pressing needs of wounded veterans, their families, and caregivers.