Getting the Chance to Make a Difference

Sedef Buyukataman

Sedef Buyukataman couldn't sit back and watch people in need. Discover why she chose to volunteer with Team Rubicon.

I’m not a veteran. I’m not a first responder. I’m no one’s version of a hero. I’m just an ordinary person who works in human resources. I joined Team Rubicon as a kick-ass civilian at the end of August to take part in disaster recovery efforts. Since then I’ve deployed to Northern California and Texas.

I reached a point where I couldn’t sit and watch it all on the news anymore. I wanted to help where I could, doing what I can. Being a Greyshirt gives me the chance to make a difference, whether I’m pulling down moldy drywall, sending press releases to local media, or assuring a homeowner that it’s ok to be upset.

I enjoy helping them understand their loss is real and they’re not alone. I get to be the change and give people hope. Reminding homeowners that on their darkest day, someone cares enough to be there to help. In that, I’ve found my purpose and I’m forever grateful.

  • Greyshirt Always

    Transforming Time into Impact

    How harnessing the irreplaceable gift of volunteers' time creates lasting impact and builds capacity within Team Rubicon and beyond.

  • Reflection

    Remembering Team Rubicon’s Typhoon Haiyan Response 10 Years Later 

    A Greyshirt reflects on his first international operation, tarping a roof during a 7-year-old’s surgery, and how the disaster relief and humanitarian aid nonprofit has changed over the decade.

  • Reflection

    All the Waterworks

    A Greyshirt reflects on proud moments from his time responding to the Morocco earthquake, and how a water filter and tea with an elder nearly broke his composure.

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