Q. What type of volunteer opportunities are available?
A. We have opportunities at various Central Minnesota Habitat for Humanity home locations, at our ReStore, and at our main office. We build new, simple, affordable homes from the ground up in Central Minnesota four county area: Stearns, Benton, Sherburne, and Wright. We have many ways volunteers can help achieve this mission. To learn more go to the Opportunities page.
Q. When can I volunteer?
A. Please feel free to view our construction schedule online by clicking here. Time commitments vary among the different positions offered. We also can accomdate groups and other schedules with a variety of other projects.
Q. How old do I have to be to volunteer?
A. Federal regulations prohibit children under the age of 14 to be on site. For children ages 14-15, they are not allowed on site during construction but can engage in limited activities such as clean-up, landscaping, or painting. For children ages 16-17, they can be on site during construction, but are also limited to clean-up, landscaping, and painting. All volunteers under the age of 18 must have an adult supervisor at the ratio of 2-3 students per adult.
Q. Do I need construction experience?
A. No. Volunteers with all levels of experience are invited to volunteer with us. If you have construction experience, please let our staff know when you arrive on site or contact the Volunteer Manager at 320-656-8890.
Q. May I work even though I have some physical limitations? What if I have allergies/asthma?
A. Yes. There are a number of tasks that do not involve strenuous labor. Please advise the Habitat staff you are working with of your limitations. Please bring your medication with you, and be sure to take breaks when necessary. There are also various volunteer opportunities at the Central Minnesota Habitat for Humanity's office and not on site.
Q. How do I volunteer?
A. Sign-up online or contact the Volunteer Manager at (320) 656-8890.
Q. Where do I report to in the morning?
A. For construction volunteers, please report to the worksite. Directions are provided on Volunteer Up! (the online volunteer calendar page).
Q. What goes on at the worksite?
A. Homes are at all stages of the construction process. We build houses from the ground up, but we also renovate houses. Tasks on the construction site fluctuate depending on need, weather, etc. You will be assigned to a task at every shift. If there are ever any questions while working on site, please direct them towards the site supervisor.
Q. What does it cost?
A. It is free to volunteer with us but donations are always appreciated. If you would like to sponsor a build, please contact the Habitat office at 320-656-8890.
Q. Should I bring food or water?
A. Yes. We do not provide lunch. During the noon hour you are free to leave the site to find lunch or bring your own. However, we do provide bottle water on site but encourage volunteers to bring their own water bottles.
Q. Should I bring my own tools?
A. It is not necessary to bring any tools; if you wish to bring your own tools you are welcome to. Please clearly label all tools.
Q. What do I wear?
A. Footwear needs to be sturdy, closed-toe, and closed-heel. Boots or sneakers are both considered appropriate footwear. Please prepare for the weather by checking the forecast before you arrive at the work site. If it is sunny, please bring a hat, sunscreen, and sunglasses. If it is raining, please bring a jacket, raincoat, and/or rain boots.
Q. What if the weather is bad?
A. The Construction Manager determines when we need to cancel due to weather. It is important when you sign up online to provide your contact information such as your phone number and email. The Volunteer Manager will contact you promptly if we need to cancel. Notice is given 30-60 minutes before the shifts begins.
Q. Is it safe?
A. Yes, but people should use their best judgment and use their instincts while on site and working with tools.
Q. Do I have to go to an orientation/training?
A. No. You will receive a short orientation of 15 minutes once you arrive at the work site, which includes safety instructions. In addition, you will receive on-site training on tasks that you are assigned to for the day. We do have an online orientation that is optional and only takes a few minutes to watch. It will prepare you on safety procedures and what to expect as a volunteer. Any office work training will be done by office staff during the first day of volunteering.
Q. Is there any paperwork?
A. Yes. All volunteers will need to sign a waiver and media release form. The waiver is available online and on site. If there is anyone under 18, parents/guardians must sign the individual waiver BEFORE the student volunteers.
Q. What if I need to cancel my work dates?
A. You can cancel online through Volunteer Up! or contact the Volunteer Manager at (320) 656-8890.
Q. What if I have trouble registering on the website or additional questions?
A. Please call our office at (320) 656-8890 and we will assist you.