Mid-America Team Members Volunteer in the Community
February 14, 2023
As Hurricane Ian tore through Florida last September, Team Rubicon started mobilizing its crews to help with the clean-up efforts. About that time, an email went out to volunteers detailing the mission and hurricane relief-work needed. David Semitekol in Mid-America’s Milwaukee office heeded the call, and within days landed in Fort Myers, Florida to help.
Founded in 2010, Team Rubicon is a nonprofit volunteer organization created to serve communities around the world. Approximately 90% of the volunteers are military veterans, but they gladly accept vetted non-veteran volunteers like Semitekol as well. The organization is built to utilize the skills and experiences of military veterans in order to rapidly deploy emergency response teams to provide immediate relief to people impacted by disasters and humanitarian crises.
“Fort Myers was really bad, blocks and blocks of homes were either destroyed or completely gone,” said Semitekol (pictured third from right). “From morning to night, Team Rubicon helped people that needed it, including low-income, disabled and elderly residents who had applied for help, had nowhere else to go and were living in destruction until our team arrived.”
For a week, volunteers were put in teams of six and assigned specific prep jobs including cutting and clearing trees, tarping damaged roofs, and removing furniture, mold, debris and damaged drywall. By taking these initial steps, it speeds the process so home contractors can come in and do their jobs, enabling the owners who have been living in destruction to get their homes and lives back to normal as soon as possible. During the Friday to Friday mission, the volunteer crew slept on cots inside a locker room at a local gym that was used as the command center.
“This was a huge commitment not only from me, but from Mid-America as well,” said Semitekol. “They were super-flexible in allowing me to get down to Florida quickly while making it work in the office with my last-minute absence.” Semitekol encourages others to donate or volunteer to help Team Rubicon.
Mid-America encourages employees to volunteer with community organizations. All of our offices provide paid time off for volunteering.
Chicago office joins with M3 in local programs
The Chicago office team continues to work with My Block, My Hood, My City.
Recently, they hosted 15 high school students from diverse neighborhoods. Through M3 in cooperation with the Community and Economic Development Association of Cook County’s ENGAGE Harvey program, students explored Mid-America’s Wrigley Building office, participated in a small group real estate activity, listened in on an overview about commercial real estate, and then finished the day by presenting their observations. Mid-America supports a variety of educational programs as a way to inspire and invest in future leaders of the real estate industry.
The Chicago office also continues helping M3 with its cleanups in local communities. Team members recently picked up trash around a residential block of South Peoria Street in the Englewood area.