Written by Julia Brauchle and Becky Engen
Each year, our Habitat volunteer management team works to fill 28,000 volunteer spots. Since July 2014, we’ve filled 16,767 of these spots – but that means we still have 11,233 opportunities to fill before June 2015! That’s why we need YOU to get involved and sign our Take 5/Give 10 pledge to support Habitat’s work in the Twin Cities Community.
Who Can Help Out?
Twin Cities Habitat offers a variety of volunteer opportunities, ranging from youth to our beloved retirees! No experience is necessary and all training and equipment is provided by Habitat staff.
Families with young children can show support by baking cookies that will be delivered to our volunteers on site. Youth that are at least 14 years old can volunteer with an adult (21 years or older) supervisor at our ReStore and on Landscaping projects. Volunteers that are 16-17 years old can be on site with an adult supervisor (21 years or older), or can sign up to help out at the ReStore or on Landscaping projects on their own.
We also invite youth groups to experience our Habitat workshops and educational activities, as well as become a part of our youth volunteer team, Youth United!
What can we do?
Although Habitat is probably best known for building homes, there are a number of other programs and services that are in need of volunteers.
A Brush With Kindness (ABWK) recruits volunteers to help with home repair projects, to help keep current homeowners in their homes. Individuals can also sign up to assist with the ABWK Home Interview Process.
The ReStore, Habitat’s Home Improvement Outlet, is open to the public, and all revenue goes toward helping more local families. The store staff utilizes volunteers to keep donations coming in and getting merchandise out on the floor. They regularly have volunteer opportunities Monday- Saturday, and the store is open Tuesday – Saturday.
Other volunteers assist our Office, Event, and Warehouse Staff. We currently have a great need for volunteers to help our Family Services Team as Neighborhood Family Partners, and our Warehouse team is looking for a Warehouse Truck Driver.
What to expect
There are a few things that all of our volunteers will experience:
- You’ll learn something new- whether it’s information on affordable housing in the Twin Cities or how to frame a house!
- You’ll have the opportunity to meet new members of the community, including other volunteers, Habitat staff, and Habitat homebuyers.
- You’ll experience the satisfaction of helping a family get one day closer to buying and moving into their home!
Besides supporting your local community and helping families realize their dream of homeownership, there are a number of benefits that are experienced by those who serve*:
- Volunteers report greater life satisfaction and better physical health than non-volunteers.
- Volunteering has a positive effect on social psychological factors, such as one’s sense of purpose/accomplishment (especially amongst retirees).
- Serving as a volunteer increases an individual’s social network, and makes them happier.
- Serving others may increase longevity, lead to greater functional ability later in life, and strengthen one’s resilience when dealing with health problems.
- States with a high volunteer rate also have lower rates of mortality and incidences of heart disease. (Fun Fact - Minnesota ranks 3rd in national volunteer rates!)
- Volunteers report lower rates of depression.
Now is the perfect time to sign up to volunteer.
If you have any questions about volunteering with Habitat, please contact our Volunteer Coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 612-305-7114.
* Data taken from: http://www.nationalservice.gov/pdf/07_0506_hbr.pdf