September 30, 2016 | By  | News

Disaster relief volunteers learn new skills to help their neighbors

Volunteers with Team Rubicon, a veteran-led non-profit disaster relief organization, conducted a "Readiness Exercise" September 16th- 18th in McMinnville at MacHabitat's Aspire Development. The goal of the drill was to increase their ability to help homeowners impacted by events such as floods, wind storms and wildfires. This event was conducted like a disaster response operation, without the disaster, so that the volunteers could learn to be efficient and effective in helping impacted communities when a disaster does strike. The hands-on work centered around construction at our Aspire development.

Team Rubicon unites the skills and experiences of military veterans and first responders to rapidly deploy emergency response teams. Beyond disaster relief, they help veterans find a renewed sense of purpose, which is vital as many return to civilian life after more than a decade of war.

The non-profit’s most recent operations in Region X (WA, OR, ID, and AK) were responses to winter flooding in northern Oregon earlier this year and to the fires in Okanogan County, WA, last year. Team Rubicon Region X is a regular partner with the McMinnville Habitat for Humanity and participates in monthly builds as a means of providing its volunteers opportunities for engagement and service between disasters. This Readiness Exercise was an extension of that partnership, benefitting both organizations.

A huge thank you to our other partners on this project, First Baptist Church for their hospitality and the American Legion Post #21 for a delicious lunch and overwhelming support.

To learn more about Team Rubicon’s mission, visit

-Photo by Frank Pons

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