This business spotlight features Team Rubicon, an exceptional US based nonprofit bringing veterans and first responders together to provide disaster relief. We recently talked to Mike Lee, Communications Coordinator at TR. Here’s what he had to say:
PEX Card: Your company is a volunteer-driven, US-based nonprofit that brings military veterans and first responders together to provide emergency disaster relief. How did Team Rubicon get it’s start?
TR: Team Rubicon was initially founded in response to the 2010 Haiti Earthquake. Cofounders Jake Wood and William McNulty, both Marine Corps veterans, recognized that the skills and experiences they gained in the military – things like risk mitigation, teamwork, decisive leadership, emergency medicine, limited resources – translated extremely well to disaster and humanitarian relief. Since 2010, TR has deployed on 59 relief operations around the world, from Moore, OK to South Sudan, Marseilles, IL to the Philippines.
PEX Card: Your website states that Team Rubicon is able to reach disaster victims that are outside the scope of what other aid organizations can do, what’s different about TR that enables you to reach these critical areas?
TR: TR focuses on the critical time gap between when a disaster strikes and when larger, long-term relief organizations can set up operations. Through the hard work and adaptability of our volunteers, working with partner organizations, using technology to gather real-time intel, we're able to provide relief where it's needed most, quickly and efficiently.
PEX: In what ways does social media help you when disaster strikes around the world?
TR: As a nonprofit, we rely heavily on donations from donors around the world. We use social media to help tell the stories from our relief efforts, highlight the work of our members, and provide information on disasters.
PEX: How does PEX help Team Rubicon volunteers run a more efficient business?
TR: Disaster relief is an expensive business – travel, gear, and supplies add up. With PEX cards, we're able to quickly and efficiently get funds sent to volunteers when they're needed the most.
PEX: TR is great for not only victims of natural disasters, but also for returning military veterans. How does this organization help vets as much as disaster victims?
TR: After leaving the military, many veterans find difficulty in transitioning from military to civilian life. Team Rubicon seeks to provide our veterans with three things they lose after leaving the military: purpose, gained through disaster relief; community, built by serving others; and self-worth, from recognizing the impact one individual can make.