Bridging the Gap with Mold Remediation

Michelle Ziegler didn't expect to make lifelong friendships while volunteering with Team Rubicon in Texas.

I joined Team Rubicon because I’m a helper. I like to help, I want to help, and I almost need to help. The TR tagline, veterans are our passion—resonates with me. I’ve known about TR since 2011 because of a joint social event with Team Red, White, and Blue.

Many organizations do the muck outs and the home rebuilds, but there weren’t a lot of people conducting mold remediation. Team Rubicon decided to conduct this pilot program after identifying a need in the community. Mold remediation is the process in which mold is cleaned and removed from a building. Talk about bridging the gap. It was great to spend a week doing something I know those homeowners needed.

I’d heard other TR volunteers talk about the TRibe and camaraderie but I didn’t think the bond would be so strong. I was surprised. It started right away. It’s like everyone checked their personal barriers at the door.

On the first night, people started opening up and telling stories around the bonfire. I was pleasantly surprised to be so readily accepted—despite not being a veteran. I watched people looking for commonalities in our lives. Everyone was so accepting.

I was really sad to go home. There was a 36-hour cycle of goodbyes as people left for their flights and it was really, really hard. I’m happy to be back with my husband and my three-year-old, but I miss my TRibe.

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