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Equipping you to serve.

We’ve gathered the questions we hear most often, so you can feel confident when you arrive for your volunteer shift. Check it out if you’re curious about working on site, registering as a volunteer or learning more about Habitat.

Don’t see your question here? Contact our volunteer coordinator before you arrive or ask our construction staff during your shift.

Or call (605) 274-6292

Working on Site with Habitat

Choose clothing that is appropriate for the weather and can get dirty. Dress in layers so you can regulate your temperature indoors or outdoors. Avoid wearing anything that could catch on equipment such as jewelry, drawstrings or ribbons. If you have long hair, tie it back for your safety, too. Wear shoes that cover the toes and have good grip. Personal protective equipment like safety goggles or hardhats will be provided for you.

Just as no experience is required, no equipment is required either. We will have the tools, supplies and safety gear for whatever you’ll be working on.

That said, there are a few things you might consider bringing: a refillable water bottle, sunscreen, or waterproof clothing depending on the weather. First aid is available on site. If you have a specific medical condition that could require emergency treatment like allergies or asthma, please bring along anything you might need.

Ask somebody! Don’t be shy—we don’t always know your skill level. When asked, Habitat staff will always demonstrate how to use tools safely. Whether something is entirely new to you or you need a refresher, we’ll show you how and encourage you to try it with us until you can do it correctly on your own.

To prevent accidents, we will step in if someone operates equipment dangerously. It’s always safer, though, to let us know if you need help before getting started. Otherwise, we encourage volunteers to learn and work at their own pace. If you’re not comfortable with a task, ask the shift supervisor. We can find alternatives, so everyone can participate.

Though we want to empower volunteers to try new things, if you are not ready, we will never force you. However, we will make certain that ladders and scaffolding follow safety guidelines and provide volunteers with personal protective equipment. Despite these precautions, if you’re still uncomfortable with heights, a tool or a task, talk to the shift supervisor. We will happily suggest alternatives, so everyone can contribute.

We are hesitant to predict what you will be working on, since it often depends on you, our volunteer workforce. We don’t control the pace, skill or comfort level of any volunteers. As a result, we avoid scheduling specific tasks and can’t guarantee them in advance. However, we will do our best to make reasonable accommodations if you notify the volunteer coordinator of your condition in advance.

For all other shifts, our construction team maps out a general timeline and organizes the work by priority. When you arrive, they will have the day’s most important tasks ready for you with tools and supplies. If that goes quickly, they’ll have more.

Certain tasks including electrical, plumbing, roofing and HVAC require licensed and bonded subcontractors. Though we can’t always know what you’ll be working on, it definitely won’t be any of these tasks.

Registering as a Volunteer

It depends on the task, but we have opportunities for anyone 14 and older. Youth volunteers must have signed consent from their parent or guardian and are limited to certain tasks.
• No one under the age of 16 is allowed on a construction site while construction is occurring.
• No one under the age of 18 is allowed to use power tools or ladders.

Because of these limitations, we intentionally schedule youth volunteer dates. Contact our volunteer coordinator to learn what is available for your age group.

Open shifts are posted on our website for new construction, neighborhood revitalization and deconstruction. You can also fill out an interest form online to learn more about volunteering with a group, participating in a team build or volunteering in our ReStore. If you are registered with us already, you can easily find opportunities through our volunteer portal, as well. If you prefer to speak to someone, please contact our volunteer coordinator.

We love having groups volunteer and can schedule shifts up to a year in advance. You can start a group request online or contact our volunteer coordinator to see what dates are available.

Not at all. No experience is required to volunteer. We’ll provide training and equipment for you. If you haven’t volunteered with us in the last year, all we need is a signed form before you arrive.

We are always looking for help in our ReStore. We also have a variety of opportunities with our Neighborhood Revitalization program. Contact our volunteer coordinator to learn more.

About Habitat

No, Habitat is not a giveaway program. In addition to closing costs and monthly mortgage payments, homeowners invest hundreds of hours of their own labor (sweat equity) into building Habitat houses. When their home is finished, they purchase it from Habitat through an affordable home loan program. Learn more about our Homeownership program online.

Yes, the ReStore is open to the public and anyone can shop there. If you have never been to our ReStore, come and check us out. We have new inventory daily!

We have a variety of ways you can donate to Habitat. You can donate your time by volunteering. We also accept donations for a variety of items at our ReStore. Those items are then sold with proceeds funding our home building and repairs programs. Financial donations also help fund these efforts in the Greater Sioux Falls area.