Frequently Asked Questions
Do we need construction experience to volunteer?
No, you do not need any experience. Our site supervisors will give you all the onsite training you need each day. All skill levels are welcome and appreciated!
What should we expect volunteering with Habitat?
Expect to have some fun, learn new things and work hard. We meet on site each morning and start the day with orientation and training, including a safety talk. We will work in the morning and break for lunch at noon. (Please pack a lunch.) Work resumes in the afternoon until cleanup. Our skilled site supervisors are there all day to lead you.
What days can I volunteer?
We build year-round on Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 8:30am-4pm and Wednesday from 9:30am-4pm.
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Can I bring a group?
Are there age restrictions for youth?
Yes, for safety reasons there are some restrictions:
- Chaperones are required for youth under 18 years old
- 16-17 year olds may assist on most construction sites, but may not use power tools or work from a height of six feet or more
- 14-15 year olds may paint and landscape on the construction site
- Youth under 14 years may not volunteer on the construction site, but there are still many youth volunteer opportunities
- Please contact Cori at 616-588-5226 for more details
What should I wear?
- Dress modestly in layers appropriate for the weather with a water resistant outer layer
- Bring a hat to shade you from the sun or a winter cap to fit under a hard hat
- Assume the house is not air conditioned or heated
- Shirts must be worn at all times
- Wear sturdy, closed-toe shoes
- Wear clothes that can get dirty or get paint on them
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What should I bring?
- A pack lunch
- A refillable water bottle
- Habitat will have all the tools you will need, but volunteers are encouraged to bring their own work gloves if possible. Feel free to bring your own tools if you prefer working with them.
What happens if there is inclement weather?
- A pack lunch
- We work in light rain, but if there is heavy rain or lightning we will break and allow the weather to clear. If inclement weather persists we will try to move to an indoor site.
- We do work while it is snowing, but we advise all volunteers to use their own best judgment regarding road conditions
How physically demanding is the construction?
Some construction tasks are more demanding than others, but clear communication with your site supervisor will help him or her adapt tasks to your desired level. All volunteers are encouraged to work at their own pace and take breaks when needed.
How do we sign up?
- Individuals, community groups and young professionals can contact Emma:
What can volunteers expect from Habitat?
- Safe Work Environments: Whether at a construction site, the ReStore, or a special event, we work hard to keep you safe. Safety orientations kick off every construction day, and safety equipment is provided.
- Productive Work Days: Everything you need (tools, supplies and work plan) will be waiting for you, and by the end of the day you'll see tangible results of your labor.
- Learn New Skills: No experience is necessary—we mean it! Our site supervisors are trained to teach you everything you need to know.
- Patience, Perspective and a Sense of Humor: We work hard and we have fun doing it!
What can Habitat expect from volunteers?
- Prompt Arrival: A prompt start to each volunteer shift ensures we can finish our homes on schedule. Plus, having everyone on hand for orientation makes our work sites safer and more efficient.
- Safety: Please use tools and equipment as instructed and adhere to safety procedures. Closed-toed shoes are required, and each volunteer must sign a liability waiver before working.
- Commitment: If you sign up to volunteer, we count on you, and so do our homebuyer families!
- Flexibility: Sometimes weather doesn't cooperate, a task doesn't go exactly according to plan or we need to refocus our efforts on a special project. Either way, we’ll make it work and hope you will too!
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