Volunteer FAQ

 

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 my team volunteer?

Habitat Boston posts all dates we build with volunteers on our Online Volunteer Calendar. 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. If you are an individual, check out our ReStore volunteer opportunities. 

Where can my team 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 occasion, 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. Days marked “Group Needed” are reserved for larger groups. However, you are welcome to organize a group of friends and family, or your school, or faith community to participate with the accompanying donation for a Group Build Day.

Individual volunteers are encouraged to check our ReStore individual volunteer opportunities at this time.

I have a couple of friends who want to volunteer together. Should we register as a group or as individuals?

Build Day groups usually consist of 8-10 people. If you have that many people looking to volunteer, 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 $2,500 for a Build Day; schools, faith community groups, and ad hoc groups of friends and family pay $750 for a 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 volunteers@habitatboston.org.

Do you ask for a donation when we volunteer?

We do not require that individual volunteers make a donation, but doing so 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. Ultimately, contributions help us build more homes for hardworking local families!

We ask that corporate groups make a $2,500 contribution for a Build Day. We request that schools, faith community groups, and ad hoc groups of friends or family make a $750 donation. 

What will I do while 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 furniture into trucks; general store housekeeping; and providing customer service.

Visit habitatbostonrestore.org/volunteer for additional information about volunteering at our ReStore in West Roxbury.

What will I be doing while volunteering at a build site?

At the beginning of each workday, a Habitat Greater Boston 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 may include hanging drywall, painting, stacking lumber, framing, sanding, demolition, cleaning, and anything else that needs doing!

Where do we 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 often have free street parking available.

How long do Build Days last?

Volunteers build with us from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. We ask that Build Day volunteers join us for that full time. 

Is our 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: Cathy Kurczak (mobile) 617.515.2883.

How often can my group volunteer?

We love having groups return to build with us. Check our volunteer Group Build Calendar for “Build Group Needed” to find dates we’re looking to schedule. While we encourage as many people in the community to volunteer as possible, 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 we 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 under construction 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 through our online VolunteerHub system or 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 volunteers@habitatboston.org or by phone at 617-423-2223. Thank you for your interest in volunteering with us!