CONWAY -- Team Rubicon, a veterans' organization overseeing tornado relief work by volunteers in Faulkner County, is urging people to help with the cleanup on Memorial Day.
Thousands of people have already helped, but "there has been a steady decline in numbers" since the tornado struck Arkansas on April 27, said Chad Reynolds, a Conway resident who has led the organization's work in the county.
The tornado claimed 16 lives; 12 of the victims lived in Faulkner County.
"It's been nearly a month, but there is still a lot of work to do," said Reynolds, who served in the Army and the Navy. "We're hopeful that others will follow our lead and join us this weekend to help residents on their paths to recovery."
Team Rubicon is a nonprofit organization that relies on military veterans to lead disaster-recovery work.
The organization's Arkansas efforts, dubbed Operation: Rising Eagle, involve managing volunteers, clearing and removing debris, and making some home repairs.
Volunteers should gather at the Home Depot in Conway, 500 Elsinger Blvd., at 8 a.m. Monday. Their work with Team Rubicon members will last until 2 p.m., the group said in a news release.
Tools will be provided, but volunteers should wear sturdy shoes, pants and gloves, the release said.
Two Marine veterans founded Team Rubicon after the 2010 earthquake in Haiti. It has grown from eight to 16,000 members.
"Memorial Day is about remembering the ultimate sacrifices made by others," Reynolds said in the release. "What better way to honor and carry forward their spirit than to serve alongside a veteran this Monday."
For those who cannot volunteer, Team Rubicon is accepting financial contributions for its efforts. Those seeking more information can visit teamrubiconusa.org.
State Desk on 05/25/2014