How to Get Involved With Habitat for Humanity


Habitat for Humanity (often referred to as "Habitat") is a non-profit organization that provides houses and aid services to poverty-stricken communities. Since its foundation, Habitat has helped more than four million people construct more than 800,000 homes around the world.[1] Volunteering for Habitat for Humanity can be a worthwhile experience, especially if you want to lower homelessness. Know what local and international opportunities are available, and decide what best fits your interests and abilities.

Part 1
Volunteering in Your Community

Volunteering in Your Community on How to Get Involved With Habitat for Humanity

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Habitat volunteers build and repair homes in their community. Locate your community Habitat chapter via and to get in contact with volunteers, who can tell you about upcoming projects. You don't need past building experience or specific skills to volunteer with Habitat for Humanity. Your local chapter will find a way to best utilize your skills.[2] If you have experience providing home maintenance, ask your local Habitat chapter about their home preservation team.[3] Habitat offers home repair work (such as painting, landscaping, and weatherization) to homeowners who could not otherwise afford it.

Volunteering in Your Community on How to Get Involved With Habitat for Humanity

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Habitat for Humanity offers youth program opportunities for volunteers between ages 5 and 40.[4] Youth programs work as a subset within local chapters to build houses with their peers. Call or email your local Habitat chapter if you're interested in joining their youth program.

Volunteering in Your Community on How to Get Involved With Habitat for Humanity

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Veterans Build helps veterans who struggle financially afford homes for their families. Volunteers in Veterans Build offer critical home repairs to veterans at no cost and build safe, affordable housing to veterans in need. Contact your local Habitat chapter to learn about local Veterans Build opportunities and get involved.[5] You do not need to be a veteran to join Veterans Build. All you need is compassion for veterans in your community and a love of service.

Volunteering in Your Community on How to Get Involved With Habitat for Humanity

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You can still help Habitat for Humanity's mission even if you're unable to build local houses. Donate funds or building materials to help Habitat for Humanity build in your area. Ask your local Habitat for Humanity group what supplies they need, or donate money for them to spend as desired. Habitat Restores are Habitat for Humanity-owned used goods stores that operate throughout the United States. Proceeds from ReStores are used to help Habitat's work around the community and the world. If you have new or lightly used furniture, clothing, or appliances, donate them to a local ReStore.[6]

Part 2
Volunteering in a Group

Volunteering in a Group on How to Get Involved With Habitat for Humanity

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Corporate leaders can organize company-wide volunteer events with their local Habitat for Humanity chapter. Your Habitat community leaders will match your business to an upcoming event happening nearby, where your company can serve together. Call or email your local Habitat chapter to inform them of your interest and discuss upcoming opportunities.[7] Volunteering as a company is an excellent way to increase bonds between colleagues and learn more about them on a personal level.[8] If you want to connect with your coworkers and your community, consider volunteering for Habitat as a company.

Volunteering in a Group on How to Get Involved With Habitat for Humanity

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Habitat for Humanity began as a Christian organization, and it welcomes any religious organization who wants to volunteer as a group. Habitat invites faith groups to serve in a variety of ways: they can help with local builds, prepare meals for volunteer workers, or collect Habitat donations during church or faith gatherings.[9]

Volunteering in a Group on How to Get Involved With Habitat for Humanity

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Women Build connects female volunteers together and teaches them key construction skills to build houses for women and children in their community. Women Build empowers their female volunteers as they create a stronger, safer community. To volunteer with Women Build, contact your local Habitat chapter and ask them about upcoming Women Build events.[10]

Volunteering in a Group on How to Get Involved With Habitat for Humanity

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Many universities have a Habitat for Humanity branch for students to volunteer with. Campus chapters of Habitat for Humanity focus on building projects during school breaks.[11] To sign up, talk to your university's service program and ask if they have a Habitats for Humanity chapter. Start a campus chapter if your school does not have one. To create a campus chapter, contact a local Habitat branch and ask for a chapter toolkit to become an official group.[12] If your school or university does not have a collegiate chapter, join Youth United. Youth United is a group for people of all ages who are interested in raising funds for Habitat.

Part 3
Volunteering Away from Home

Volunteering Away from Home on How to Get Involved With Habitat for Humanity

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Global Village allows Habitat workers to immerse themselves in a new culture while they build homes internationally. Global Village trips last anywhere from one week to a month and are available in over 40 countries. Visit Habitat's Global Village website to search for upcoming trips and sign up to serve [13] Some Global Village trips allow you to volunteer towards a specific cause, such as disaster recovery, energy efficient housing, or working with vulnerable populations such as children or the disabled. Habitat also offers women-only trips for female Habitat volunteers. Most Global Village trips do not require you to learn the language before you leave, although it is recommended that you study the culture and basic language skills beforehand.

Volunteering Away from Home on How to Get Involved With Habitat for Humanity

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College students can organize a volunteer trip during their semester break to build houses for poverty-stricken communities in the US. Habitat provides housing and meals in exchange for work through a scheduled week. Students interested in volunteering as a group can contact their local Habitat community leaders to organize a Collegiate Challenge. Collegiate Challenge accepts help from students age 16 to 25. Although they only accept groups of five or more, they do not require these groups to be an official campus organization.[14]

Volunteering Away from Home on How to Get Involved With Habitat for Humanity

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If you love to travel and help your community, the RV Care-a-Vanners invites anyone with a recreational vehicle to work with communities across the United States on scheduled builds. Care-a-Vanners can help communities rebuild after a disaster or assist Habitat affiliates build in poverty-stricken communities.[15] To volunteer with Care-a-Vanners, you must have your own RV. Those who have an old recreational vehicle in working condition can also donate their RV.

Volunteering Away from Home on How to Get Involved With Habitat for Humanity

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Disaster Corps volunteers travel to areas hit by natural disasters or other tragedies as they rebuild their community. Corps volunteers might provide post-disaster assessment, logistics, resource development, or construction management. To volunteer with Disaster Corps, fill out a training application during scheduled periods to be offered consideration.[16] Habitat requires that Disaster Corps volunteers are at least 18 years old and are US citizens. Disaster Corps volunteers are also chosen based on other criteria, such as physical stamina, high-pressure stress management, leadership skills, and availability on a short-term notice.

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If you're at least 18 years old, you can volunteer on a long-term build project in the United States or abroad. Volunteers commit to any period between one month to a year, depending on their availability and local need. To get involved, Habitat encourages potential long-term volunteers to visit their long-term volunteer opportunities site for more information.[17] If you're interested in a career with Habitat for Humanity, join AmeriCorps. AmeriCorps workers are paid full-time to help people throughout the United States build stable homes. AmeriCorps workers assist volunteers, Habitat leaders, and local families as they better their community.[18]