By Jacob Wittwer
With over $306 billion in damage caused by natural disasters in the U.S. in 2017, Jack Link’s is teaming up with Team Rubicon, a veteran-led disaster relief organization, in a program called, “Fuel the Front Lines.” During a two-week, 1300-mile journey from Jack Link’s headquarters in Minong, WI to Houston, TX, Jack Link’s and Team Rubicon volunteers will rebuild hundreds of homes destroyed by natural disasters.
Last year natural disasters ravaged the lives of millions of Americans leaving them homeless, hopeless and without means to rebuild their lives. While immediate relief efforts offered short-term assistance, it takes years to fully rebuild a community. After the spotlight fades on these communities, often so does the support, even though the needs still remain. Fuel the Front Lines aims to help these communities by raising awareness of the need for longer-term disaster relief, completing service projects and raising funds.
After the most destructive year in terms of natural disasters, Jack Link’s knew that Team Rubicon was a perfect partner for a humanitarian project. “Team Rubicon is doing incredible work and we are happy to be partnered with them,” said Kristen Kloskin, associate manager of Jack Link’s integrated marketing and communications team.
Founded by veteran Marines, Jake Wood and William McNulty, Team Rubicon launched in 2010 in response to the Haiti earthquake. Then assembling a small team with modest funds to assist on the ground in Haiti with medical and humanitarian support, Team Rubicon has since evolved into one of the world’s most powerful agents for good, executing over 175 missions worldwide. Becoming a leader in both disaster relief and veteran reintegration, Team Rubicon recently advised JJ Watt—who raised over $37 million for victims of Hurricane Harvey—on how to most efficiently utilize the funding to rebuild Houston.
“I think it was a natural fit. The volunteers love our jerky, and Jack Link’s and Team Rubicon share many of the same values: strength, support, teamwork,” Kloskin said.
It is these same values that have defined Fuel the Front Lines. Since May 31, the program has featured stops in Minong, WI, Minneapolis, Omaha and Woodward, OK. The program concludes June 12—National Jerky Day—in Houston, where the groups will build 100 homes for those affected by Hurricane Harvey. Though no longer in the news cycle, homes are still destroyed, infrastructure needs to be repaired, and victims need to be given opportunities to get back on their feet.
“Within two or three weeks after Hurricane Harvey, the general public had pretty much moved on, except for the people who couldn’t—the people who lost everything from Hurricane Harvey” said Team Rubicon volunteer and Marine Corps veteran, Jennie Haskamp.
Both Jack Link’s and Team Rubicon hope the program will not only improve the lives of those affected, but inspire the general public to action as well.
“We need people to get involved. We need people to donate and volunteer,” said Haskamp. “Look around in your community and find ways to serve. Anyone can be involved if they want to be.”
To donate or volunteer to Fuel the Front Lines, visit: https://teamrubiconusa.org/team/ or http://cause.jacklinks.com/. In addition, Jack Link’s has created special packaging on their protein pack products encouraging customers to donate to Team Rubicon. Text REBUILD or GIVE to 8782 and Jack Link’s will donate $2 to Team Rubicon.