Construction Volunteer FAQ
Do I need to have construction skills?
No, we do not require previous construction experience — just a willingness to work hard, learn, and be flexible. But if you do have construction experience (like carpentry, construction, home DIY projects), let us know! We have experienced volunteer positions available on our construction sites.
Is there a minimum age for volunteering on the construction site?
Yes. All volunteers must be at least 18 years of age to volunteer on the construction site.
What if I don't see openings on the schedule?
Although we post volunteer availability for our Habitat ReStores, we rarely post availability for construction volunteer opportunities on our website. If you are interested in volunteering as an individual or bringing your corporate team of volunteers, contact us directly via phone or email. You can also contact our Volunteer Coordinator, Sandy, for more information at firstname.lastname@example.org
What if I don’t feel well or if someone in my household or have had contact with has recently been diagnosed with Covid-19?
It is critical that volunteers NOT PARTICIPATE while they are experiencing illness symptoms such as fever, cough, shortness of breath, or new loss of taste or smell or other symptoms associated with COVID-19. Volunteers who appear to have symptoms upon arrival or who have become sick during the day will immediately be separated from others and sent home.
If exposed to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, volunteers must delay in-person volunteering for either 14 days or until after receipt of a negative COVID test conducted no sooner than 5 days after exposure. Parties may bypass quarantine and/or testing if they have had and recovered from COVID in the previous 3 months or are fully vaccinated and show no symptoms of COVID-19.
What safety measures have been put in place for Covid-19?
It is critical that volunteers NOT PARTICIPATE while they are experiencing illness symptoms. Volunteers who appear to have symptoms upon arrival or who have become sick during the day will immediately be separated from others and sent home.
Volunteers are advised to practice physical distancing of at least six feet, where possible. There will be handwashing stations on site and hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol content. To the extent tools or equipment must be shared, volunteers and staff are encouraged to use provided alcohol-based wipes or CDC approved cleaning chemicals to sanitize tools/equipment before and after use. Volunteers are also welcome to bring their own tools. Tools will be sanitized at the end of each day. Commonly touched surfaces will be sanitized throughout the day.
What do I need to bring to the construction site?
You must wear sturdy, closed toed, thick soled shoes and long substantial pants (like jeans) that cover the ankle. You should wear clothes that you don’t mind getting dirty. We must bring your own water bottle, labeled with your name and any snacks you may need. We will not provide a common cooler, sunscreen or bug spray for safety reasons. Each volunteer MUST be responsible for their own water. We provide all tools and construction PPE (hardhats, safety glasses, work gloves…), although you are welcome to bring your own, if desired. Everyone must wear an approved face covering while on site.
What will I be doing on site?
It all depends. We appreciate your flexibility and openness to all aspects of building; you’ll find out about the day’s projects once you arrive at site. What we’re working on depends on the current phase of home construction, so you could be doing anything from exterior walls, flooring or landscaping. Your flexibility is the most important thing to bring with you to the work site…remember that all jobs are equally crucial to a well-built Habitat home!
Can I come late or leave early?
We ask for a full day’s commitment from volunteers so that we can keep up with our construction schedules and meet project deadlines. Arriving on time will ensure that you are included in the day’s plans and receive the safety and training you need for the day’s work. A volunteer who arrives AFTER the morning safety briefing will not be allowed on site.
How is physical distancing maintained on site?
Our maximum allowable capacity has been lowered to help ensure proper physical distancing. Volunteers are advised to practice physical distancing of at least six feet, where possible. Avoid handshakes and other forms of physical contact greetings. Do not congregate.
How will lunch be structured during a pandemic?
If applicable, lunches will be individually bagged for each volunteer. You are responsible for providing enough water and any snacks, if desired, for the entire day. Community coolers will not be provided. Lunches will be conducted outside only or in your vehicle during inclement weather.
Where are the construction sites?
We will be building in Prince George’s County and in Montgomery County. An address will be provided after you have signed up for a construction shift.
What about cancellations for inclement weather?
We rarely cancel build days, however, if extreme weather is forecasted, we may decide to cancel the work day. In the summer, Habitat will make a decision as soon as possible on the day before and update all volunteers via email and phone. You can also call our Volunteer Coordinator, Sandra Limjuco, for information: 301-910-6597. Regardless of the status of a build day, if you don’t feel comfortable travelling to site, that’s perfectly fine — just let us know!
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