Overcoming Heartache in Columbia

Jonah Thompson

Samantha Crowell joined up with Team Rubicon right after an F3 tornado swept through her hometown of Columbia, Mississippi just before Christmas.

2014 came in with vengeance and left in a tornado. Literally. What a hell of a year for our family. We have been torn, beaten, broken, and left for dead. Yet my personal motto always stuck: “I got this!”

Not once did I think about letting go or giving up until last year. I’ve never felt more broken and alone than I did returning to my hometown of Columbia, MS after an F3 tornado struck on Dec. 23, 2014. The devastation days before Christmas was more than I could stand.

So, we spent the holidays not worrying about gifts or keeping up with the Joneses. Rather, settling in a temporary home with very few remaining personal possessions with no idea what God had in store. Not willing to give into angry or depressed, we found solace in service.

Volunteer work is where I first came in contact with Team Rubicon. After a brief encounter, I was invited to join. It seemed like a perfect fit. It was just what I wanted and needed in my life. I felt like a lost soul brought back into the fold. With all the chaos of life, the fact remains TR helped energize my spirit. I know who I am! I know my self-worth.


Samantha met TR members at the Volunteer Reception Center in Columbia, joined the team, and immediately showcased her skills with a sledge hammer.

My fellow TR members helped me emotionally and physically overcome the heartache in Columbia. They come from all walks of life and serve beside me, and I am truly grateful for each of you and applaud your service and dedication. Thank you for allowing me to serve beside some of the most incredible and influential men and women I’ve ever know.



Samantha found some eccentric extended family members on Operation: Saw Humbug over the holidays.


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