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Everything You Need to Know Before Volunteering on a Home Build with Habitat for Humanity [VIDEO]

One of the most popular and well-known ways to support Habitat for Humanity is volunteering on a home construction site.

Yet while most people know they can swing a hammer with Habitat, many first-time volunteers have questions about what it will be like. What if I have no construction experience? And what should I expect during a volunteer day?

In this video, you can find answers to those questions and more:

TCHFH Volunteer Video

What can I expect on my first day?

Here are a few things to remember for homebuilding volunteers:

  1. No construction experience necessary. (We’ll get into that later.)
  2. When you arrive on the build site, head straight to the trailer onsite to grab your safety gear and make a name tag. You’ll then gather for a brief safety talk from the site supervisor and an explanation of the tasks you’ll be doing that day.
  3. We’ll teach you your tasks for the day – and you can always change tasks if you’d like!
  4. Lunch is always around noon, and we usually clean up between 3:00 and 4:00 p.m.

What if I have no construction experience?

“Don’t worry about it,” says Kevin, one of our frequent home build volunteers. “[On my first home build], I had two left thumbs; I couldn’t hammer anything together! Every build that I’ve been to, I’ve learned a different skillset.”

We have staff onsite who are prepared to answer questions and make sure volunteers have all the resources necessary to complete their tasks.

”There’s so much support onsite from supervisors or other returning volunteers that if you have questions, everyone is super excited to help you out,” says Kelsey, another regular on our homebuilding sites.

What should I bring to the build site?

The Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity team will always provide all the tools and safety equipment you’ll need to accomplish your tasks for the day. That said, there are a few things you’ll want to bring on your own:

  • Sturdy, closed-toe shoes required
  • Water bottle
  • Work gloves
  • Sunscreen
  • Lunch/snacks
  • A good attitude!

Be sure to dress appropriately for the weather and wear layers that can get dirty.

So, why be a volunteer?

Building a home is plain fun! Take it from Kelsey: “Something that brings me back every day is the fun atmosphere onsite and knowing that every day I’m going to meet someone different and be able to learn in a supportive and welcome environment.”

And of course, regardless of your tasks for the day, you’re helping a family achieve their dream of homeownership. ”Every little thing you’re doing, whether it’s pounding walls together or helping clean up the job site, helps the job continue moving and helps someone get into a home that they’re currently not in,” says Kevin.

Thank you to all our Habitat volunteers! This really wouldn’t be possible without you.

If you’re interested in volunteering with Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity, click this link to learn more.
Sign up to volunteer