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In the U.S. and Canada, Enbridge helps Team Rubicon give Veterans new purpose, support communities post-service
There comes a point in every Veteran’s life when their time in service winds down.
After years spent serving their country, after years of devotion to a close-knit community of service men and women, Veterans find themselves cut off from everything they’ve known. They often seek a new place to give back to and find purpose and connection.
For more than 70,000 North American veterans, one of those places is on Team Rubicon, a non-profit organization with operations in both the United States and Canada that leverages the skills and training of servicepeople, first responders and civilians, and mobilizes them to help communities around the world prepare, respond and recover from humanitarian crises and natural disasters, be it floods, fires, earthquakes or hurricanes.
“The mission is to help people on their worst day and ensure that they don’t face those disasters alone,” says Tim Kenney, vice president of programs and field operations at Team Rubicon Canada.
With more than 20 million veterans in the U.S. and Canada, “many of them are still looking for something that gives them purpose after their service,” explains Matt Colvin, a US Air Force veteran who is head of the Team Rubicon’s strategic partnerships.
Team Rubicon was founded in the United States after the devastating earthquake in Haiti in 2010; the sister organization in Canada was started after the fires in Fort McMurray, AB in 2016.
And between the two nations, post-service, volunteers with Team Rubicon have responded to thousands of missions around the world to support vulnerable communities in urgent need. They’ve helped with rebuilding and recovery work, supported clean water initiatives, cleared brush and mud, and delivered emergency training in remote communities. Close to home, they responded to wildfires in Nova Scotia, British Columbia, and the Northwest Territories, as well as floods in Kentucky this past summer.
“It’s all about building that community, getting to contribute to preventing, mitigating, recovering, and responding to crises. It’s rewarding for everyone,” adds the 26-year Veteran of the Canadian Armed Forces.
Enbridge established a partnership with Team Rubicon in 2021, contributed a $100,000 Fueling Futures grant to each of the American and Canadian chapters in 2022, and will continue to support Team Rubicon in the future.
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Enbridge recognizes the importance of the organization’s humanitarian work to support people when disaster strikes, and serving Veterans aligns with our company’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion commitments.
Safety being at the forefront of everything we do at Enbridge, we also acknowledge how Team Rubicon’s emergency preparedness work is making communities safer for everyone.
Team Rubicon helps build community by enabling veterans to find support and fellowship.
Colvin has heard Veterans say on multiple occasions that if the organization had existed when they left the military, they wouldn’t have lost so many friends to the struggles servicepeople face upon coming home, such as mental health issues, isolation and loss of purpose.
“Being able to find a community is one of the most important things for Veterans,” says Colvin. “We’ve got that landing spot for them, where they can use their skills and create that purpose they need in their lives.”
Kenney agrees. After serving, “You look for something you can become personally invested in,” he says. “Veterans have shared values with (Team Rubicon), and that is the strength. They're in it to contribute to something more than just themselves.”
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