Volunteer Frequently Asked Questions
What skills are required?
We love experienced volunteers, but the vast majority of our volunteers have never had more construction experience than painting a bedroom or hanging a picture on the wall. Our site supervisors will teach you everything you need to know on your build day.
When can I volunteer?
Habitat Boston posts all dates we build with volunteers on our Online Volunteer Calendar. If you are an individual, look for dates marked “Individual Needed” or “ReStore Volunteers Needed” to find available opportunities. If you are a group (a representation of a company, school, faith community or other organization), look for dates marked “Group Needed” to find available opportunities.
Where can I volunteer?
You can either volunteer to build at one of our construction sites, or you can volunteer at our ReStore which is a retail outlet that sells donated items. On occassion, we need office volunteers. Please note on the application if you are interested in office work.
Can individuals sign up for a day listed as "Group Needed"?
No. There’s only room for individual volunteers on days that are marked, "Individuals Needed." Days marked “Group Needed” are reserved for larger groups.
I have a couple of friends who want to volunteer together. Should we register as a group or as individuals?
Groups usually consist of 8-10 people. If you have a group this size, you might want to think about signing up as a group. The biggest difference between group volunteering and individual volunteering is that we ask groups for a minimum donation to help cover construction costs (corporate groups pay $3,000 for a weekend build day and $2,000 for a weekday; nonprofits, schools, friends, and faith community groups pay $750 for a build day). So if you think you can do a little grassroots fundraising for us, sign up as a group! Otherwise, you will each have to sign up individually for an individual build day.
Is there a minimum age requirement?
You must be at least 16 years old to work on our construction site. All 16 & 17 year olds must be accompanied by an adult chaperone on your build day. If you’re younger than 16 and want to get involved, check out Habitat for Humanity International’s Youth Programs or contact email@example.com.
Do you ask for a donation when we volunteer?
We do not require that individual volunteers make a donation but pledging a donation helps us to buy the materials and supplies that you will be using on your build day, as well as, pay our Construction Supervisors who will be working with you. Ultimately, contributions help us build more homes for families who need our help! Corporate groups are asked to make a $2,000 contribution for a weekday build and $3,000 for a weekend. School groups, churches, and other non-profit groups are requested to make a $750 donation. This helps us to buy the materials and supplies that you will be using on your build day, and pay our Construction Supervisors who will be working with you to make your team service day a success! Ultimately, contributions help us build more homes for families who need our help!
What will I do volunteering at the ReStore?
Work at the ReStore includes, but is not limited to: cleaning donated stoves, refrigerators, cabinets, etc., polishing wood furniture, helping customers load heavy furniture into trucks, general store housekeeping, and providing customer service.
Where do I build?
Once you have scheduled and confirmed your build day, the Volunteer Coordinator will send you the site location, required paperwork, proper dress, and directions. All of our sites are in the Boston area, are accessible by public transit, and generally have free street parking available.
What will happen when I arrive at the site?
At the beginning of each workday, a Habitat site supervisor will start the morning with an introduction, a safety talk and instructions. The group will then break into crews to work on the various building tasks. The activities range from hanging drywall, painting, stacking lumber, framing, sanding, demolition, cleaning, and anything else that needs doing!
How long do build days last?
Volunteers build with us from 9 am to 3.30 pm. If you sign up for a build day you need to commit to being there all day.
Is my work day cancelled if rain or snow is predicted?
You will be contacted by us if a work day is cancelled for any reason. Our site supervisors can be reached for emergencies at:
Gerry Patton (c) 774.218.4323
How often can I volunteer?
We try to encourage as many people in the community to volunteer as possible. For that reason, we ask that individual volunteers sign up to build no more than once per month. In the summer months (June-August), we ask that individual volunteers only sign up once during this time.
What should I bring?
• Proper Dress: Wear comfortable clothing and expect to get dirty with spilled paint, dirt etc. Closed toe shoes are a must and layers in the wintertime are key as our homes are often not insulated or heated.
• Food and Drink: Bring any food or drink you will need for the day including water. Convenience stores are within driving distance but can be a far walk from some sites.
• Waiver of Liability: Sign the Waiver of Liability Form and bring this to the work site on the day of your build (please do not send these into the office).
• No Tools or Supplies Required: Habitat Greater Boston will provide all tools and building materials for your build day.
I still have questions!
Don’t hesitate to contact us with any further questions by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 617-423-2223. Thank you for your interest in volunteering with us!