Rubicon: not just a river in Italy

Team Rubicon volunteers greet Afghan refugees at PDX.

Team Rubicon is a nonprofit organization that focuses on providing relief to communities affected by disasters. The organization, founded in 2010 by military veterans, helps with debris management, home repair, emergency medicine, primary care and much more listed on their website.

One of their operations is the Afghan Resettlement which aims to help transition Afghan families into their new homes in the U.S. Team Rubicon can also provide necessary household items such as clothing, furniture and hygiene products.

Bill Terrill, one of the task force leaders for the Afghan Resettlement, joined Team Rubicon in 2017 after being in the US Air Force for four years. Terrill was also in the fire service for 27 years.

“It’s one of those things where I’ve always been in service, so it was just the logical thing to do (joining Team Rubicon) once I retired,” Terrill said.

Terrill’s team helps sort and prepare items in the warehouse so that they are ready to be sent out to families. They also assist Salem For Refugees in getting houses set up. 

Salem For Refugees works with Team Rubicon on the resettlement process and also helps families with getting employment, finding homes and learning languages.

According to Terrill, Salem For Refugees reports having a hundred Afghan refugees currently in the Salem area and are working to get them in homes.

“We are in what we call phase two. The first phase was getting folks over from Afghanistan and into temporary housing. Phase two is starting to move them into more permanent housing,” Terrill said.

The biggest challenge that Terrill has noticed is lack of volunteers, especially during the weekday.

“Team Rubicon is always looking for good people that want to volunteer to help communities. We are a veteran base but that doesn’t mean you have to be a veteran to be part of our group. We want to make sure that we’re able to help underserved communities,” he said.

Anyone interested in volunteering can apply on the Team Rubicon website. Donations can be made through Salem For Refugees.