Volunteers come from all walks of life and backgrounds with a variety of interests and talents. Probably the most popular image of a Habitat volunteer is that of a hard-hat wearing, hammer-wielding volunteer. Indeed, these volunteers are extremely important to Habitat’s work but there are also many other ways to get involved.
If you have some time to spare and you would like to make a difference in your community and the lives of those who need a hand up not a handout, please consider getting involved with Huntington WV Area Habitat for Humanity (HAHFH) and its mission to reduce substandard housing and homelessness in our communities.
Volunteer for a home build
Though the vast majorities have no construction experience or building skills, volunteers are involved in most phases of construction. By working side-by-side with the family who will live in the house, our volunteers experience for themselves the joy created when a family is able to realize their dream of home ownership. To volunteer for a current home build or for more information, contact Nikki Hagerman at (304) 523-4822 [email protected].
What volunteer opportunities are available?
- Construction volunteering (sites vary)
- ReStore volunteering (240 3rd Avenue, Huntington, WV)
When does construction take place?
Construction takes place year-round, Tuesday to Saturday from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
What’s the ReStore?
The Habitat ReStore is a donation based discount outlet. Proceeds from sales are used to support Habitat building projects in Cabell County, WV and Lawrence County, OH (with the exception of Ironton, Coal Grove and Hanging Rock). Volunteers age 16 and older assist with customer service, store organization, and many other tasks. Retail or merchandising experience is welcome but not necessary.
Is there a minimum age for volunteering?
16 is the minimum age requirement for working on construction site and at the ReStore. This is a Habitat International regulation. Volunteers under the age of 18 must complete a waiver of liability form that must be co-signed by a parent or guardian.
What do volunteers do on site?
Volunteers perform a huge range of tasks, depending on the stage of construction. On the day you volunteer you could be assisting with interior demolition, framing, porch building, installing windows, insulating, painting, siding, landscaping, site clean-up or anything else that helps get the house built and ready for occupancy.
Some of the work is menial and grubby. We ask that volunteers be willing to undertake the tasks assigned to them. If you are wary of heights, please alert the construction staff when you sign in so that they can plan accordingly.
I’m unskilled, does that matter?
While we welcome skilled volunteers and want to encourage those in the building trades to join us on site, the majority of our volunteers have few construction skills. Numerous volunteers remain with us on a long-term basis and volunteer regularly in order to build skills. We will train you in all aspects of construction and worksite with the hope that you will continue to volunteer, and even perhaps share your skills with unskilled volunteers in the future.
What day(s) can I volunteer?
The construction schedule is Tuesday through Saturday. Please contact Nikki Hagerman at (304) 523-4822 to schedule a build day.
ReStore hours are Monday-Friday 9:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m. and Saturday 9:00 a.m.- 4:00 p.m. Volunteering at the ReStore is a great opportunity if you are able to volunteer only on Saturdays. We ask that you call a day or two before to make sure there is a need for volunteers on that date.
Can I get a ride to and from the site?
We do not provide or arrange transportation. Volunteers must have a vehicle on site because the construction staff sometimes needs to relocate them to a different work site. The staff is not able to transport you!
What if I need to cancel?
Cancellations do happen, but it is important that they be minimized. Keep in mind that once you make a reservation, our construction and ReStore staffs plan accordingly. If you need to cancel, please do so as soon as possible by contacting the HAHFH office. This will enable another volunteer to fill the vacancy.
How are volunteers supervised?
HAHFH has a professional construction staff. Our sites have a construction supervisor and many “regular volunteers” who works alongside the volunteers and provide training and general supervision. The members of the construction staff are highly skilled and are used to working with skilled and unskilled volunteers.
The ReStore has a manager and staff will supervise volunteers.
What do I need to bring to the site?
Yourself. We will provide the tools and material (personal pretection equipment) you will need. There is also plenty of water available.
Construction volunteers should wear clothes that can get dirty and are appropriate for the weather. No open-toed or open-backed shoes (e.g. clogs, crocs, Birkenstocks, flip-flops, etc.) are permitted.
ReStore volunteers must dress appropriately for a retail setting. Clothing should be comfortable and provide good coverage. Please do not wear clothing with messages or crude/offensive language.
How do I get started?
For construction volunteering, contact Nikki Hagerman at (304) 523-4822 or [email protected].
For ReStore volunteering, contact the ReStore at (304) 781-1333.
Collegiate Challenge is Habitat for Humanity’s year-round alternative break program that provides opportunities for students from youth groups, high schools and colleges to spend a week of their school break building a house in partnership with a Habitat for Humanity affiliate in the United States.
A Collegiate Challenge trip may be the best school break trip you will ever have. Not only do you help people in need, but you’ll have the chance to improve your carpentry skills, connect with new people in a new place and put your faith into action by making a real difference in Habitat for Humanity’s work of eliminating substandard housing.
Seven reasons YOU should participate:
- Improve your leadership skills.
- Develop and strengthen friendships.
- See the impact your work is having on communities.
- Learn more about poverty housing issues and how you can help.
- Visit new areas of the country.
- Affect a global cause by advocating on behalf of poverty housing issues.
- Help provide a simple, decent, affordable place to live for people in need.
To learn more about Collegiate Challenge, please contact Nikki Hagerman at (304) 523-4822 or [email protected]
Women Build is Habitat’s volunteer program for women who want to learn construction skills and build homes and communities. It brings together women from all walks of life to address the housing crisis facing millions of women and children worldwide. Women Build events have helped to construct more than 1,800 houses across the nation.
No experience necessary
If you don’t have any construction skills, don’t worry! Many women come to Women Build sites with no construction skills at all and still make a great impact. Training is provided.
Volunteer with us for Women Build!
For more information on getting involved, contact Dayna Massie at (304) 523-4822 or [email protected].
Lowe’s Helps Women Build Keep The Momentum Going
Lowe’s is a major sponsor and underwriter of Women Build and has generously supported our efforts for many years. Lowe’s sponsors National Women Build Week each year, provides competitive grant opportunities and offers free how-to clinics for US Women Build affiliates.