What to Know Before You Build with Habitat

By January 7, 2020Volunteer

We often hear that volunteering with Habitat is an “I’ve always wanted to do that” sort of thing. We created this list to help you know what to expect on a Habitat build site!

1. You don’t have to have any experience. Never used a hammer? No problem! Afraid of looking silly? Not a chance! Unsure about nail guns? We’ll teach you! Our superintendent and volunteer Tiger Team will teach you everything you need to know for your volunteer day. Feel empowered to sign up for something new today!What to Know Before You Build (1)2. Per our insurance requirements, all volunteers must be at least 16 years-old to participate! All 16 and 17 year-olds can’t use power tools or go above 6 feet on a ladder on the build site. If there is a project that isn’t suitable for minors, the description will include “Must be at least 18 years-old to use power tools.”

3. Habitat provides all of the tools, PPE (personal protective equipment), and build materials. You can leave your tools at home because Habitat will have everything you need to get the job done!4. A volunteer shift on the Habitat build site is roughly 6.5 hours. A typical timeline of the day looks like this:

7:45 amYou arrive to the build site and get checked in.
8:00 amOrientation, safety briefing and project assignment.
8:15 amLet’s build!
11:30 amWe’ll provide you lunch. A vegetarian option is included, but you are welcome to bring your own lunch with you.
12:00 pmSuit up and let’s get back at it.
2:30 pmClean up then it’s time to hang your hard hat!Projects and wrap up are subject to change! Please arrive on time and stay for the entirety of your shift for the best experience. If you do need to leave early, please let the superintendent know before you go.

5. We build rain or shine! Since Indiana weather can be fickle, please arrive on site in appropriate attire regardless of the conditions. It is recommended to dress in layers and bring rain or work boots. If inclement weather persists, we will call the day on site.

Pro-tip: keep extra clothes and shoes in your car for a warm and dry drive home!6. The build site can get very muddy and messy! You are volunteering on a construction site so be prepared for some mess! Build sites can be muddy even if it hasn’t rained recently and the ground may be uneven. Watch your step and tell the superintendent immediately if you have an accident!7. Some build projects require some “hurry up and wait.” Have patience with the superintendent and Tiger Team as they get everything prepped for the next step! Take this time to refill your water bottle or snap a selfie!

Pro-tip: Be sure to tag @IndyHabitat and share any photos you took during your volunteer shift with photo@indyhabitat.org!

8. Expect to end the day feeling a little sore and very accomplished! While you’re working hard, take time to get to know the other volunteers you’re working with. Even if you’ve sat across from someone for five years, you may learn something new!We hope this list helps you feel more prepared to volunteer with Habitat! If you haven’t signed up to volunteer yet, we’d love to have you join us! Check out our volunteer website to sign up for a build today!

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