A Thank You to Brooklyn Boulders

Mike Lee

Mike Lee, a native of Chicago, graduated from Loyola Marymount University with a degree in Creative Writing. At LMU, Mike developed international and domestic volunteer trips and served as the Volunteer Coordinator for the Student Veterans Organization. Mike’s professional background is in advertising and marketing, and has experience in executing large print and digital campaigns for non-profit and tourism clients. He lives in Los Angeles where he thinks a lot about dogs, bourbon, and the Chicago Bears.

Before Sandy charged up the Eastern seaboard, we felt like we had this disaster relief thing down. Anywhere in the world, we felt confident that we could dispatch a crack team of TR volunteers to accomplish the task at hand, be it running a refugee camp, training medics in a jungle, or ripping chainsaws to take down a few trees in the Midwest.

But then Hurricane Sandy hit. And then a Nor’easter hit.

We all saw it on the news, read it in the papers. Twitter pretty much exploded with details of the devastation the storms left behind. Houses under water, homes under sand, under snow. Blocks in flames, trees blocking highways. downed power lines. Driving down Rockaway Blvd., I nearly thought I was in Port-au-Prince circa 2010.

Operational brief in BKB’s warehouse

Needless to say, we knew we had a huge task ahead of us, and in typical TR fashion, we charged right into it. Thankfully, Team Rubicon is much more than the volunteers and staff; we have the TR Nation. And anyone who has ever been in a disaster zone can tell you that often, help comes from the most unlikely of places. Team Rubicon would not have been created had it not been for the generosity of a few Jesuits in Port-au-Prince. This time, in New York, on a mission that we believe will redefine our organization, we found help from a rock-climbing gym.

Without the immense generosity of Brooklyn Boulders and its entire staff, Operation: Greased Lightning may not have happened. BKB opened their arms, their gym, and their warehouse to us. They provided us with a warm place to sleep, a staging area for all of our supplies, and an office to run our operations out of.

Sleeping quarters at BKB

Typically, we tend to give credit to our hard-driving volunteers. They are, after all, the reason we’re here.

But this time, we have to acknowledge those who have given so much, and in turn, have asked for so little.

So this time, from the bottom of Team Rubicon’s enormous heart, we say thank you to Brooklyn Boulders. Thank you for your generosity and hospitality. It is because of BKB’s compassion that has put Team Rubicon in a position to serve those hit by Hurricane Sandy.

Can’t say it enough. Thank you, Brooklyn Boulders!