Build with Beaches Habitat! Whether you are an experienced carpenter or have never touched a hammer, we will find a place for you on our construction site! Though we are a Christian ministry, we welcome volunteers and supporters from all backgrounds to be a part of our organization.
If you are completing community service to fulfill a legal requirement (probation, pre-trial, etc.), need your hours verified or are younger than 18 years of age, please contact us before scheduling hours.
Requirements and Recommendations for Construction Volunteers
It is required that construction volunteers:
- Be at least 16 years of age;
- Register with the program - online or over the phone. Our sites have a maximum capacity for your safety, so we need to know that you're coming;
- Complete a Release and Waiver of Liability before volunteering and at least once every year after. (18 & older release form | Younger than 18 release form) Please have your parents or legal guardian complete the Release form if you're younger than 18;
- Dress appropriately for construction work - please wear sturdy shoes that cover your whole foot (preferably work boots, but sneakers are okay);
- Are ready to get dirty! This is a "real" construction site and you'll be doing hard work. Don't worry if you don't have experience - our staff will teach you what you need to know.
Is it recommended that construction volunteers:
- Complete the "Volunteering On A Habitat for Humanity Job Site" safety training available through our partner, Lockton Affinity. You will need the Employee Access Code "W8NAEBTG" to enter the site;
- View our Construction Volunteer Policies;
- Have a moderate level of physical fitness;
- Have the ability to perform moderately strenuous bending and reaching activities;
- Are able to safely balance on stairs and uneven surfaces;
- Can work in a dusty and active environment without climate control of any sort;
- Are able to meet other moderate physical demands associated with the day's activities.
- If you have any concerns about your ability to meet these recommendations or need special accommodations, please contact us so we can do our best to work with you!
A Vounteer FAQ is available to help answer many common questions. The address of the meeting location and a link to our construction guidelines are available on the volunteer calendar and will also be emailed to you in your confirmation.
Contact our Community Outreach Director, Sarah Jared, with any questions or to register for volunteer opportunities by calling (904) 595-5793 or by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Construction Volunteer Policies
Beaches Habitat strives to make volunteering safe, productive and fun. Because of the inherent risks associated with construction activities, we ask that all volunteers abide by the following guidelines. Thank you for your cooperation.
What to Expect
- Bad weather? Beaches Habitat builds rain or shine. If it looks like conditions are too dangerous to safely work on site, we’ll announce schedule changes on our “volunteer hotline” at least 1 hour prior to the start time. Volunteers can call in if there’s a question about build day status - (904) 595-5810.
- Please plan to arrive at least 15 minutes early. It may take some time to get from the parking location to the construction site. Upon arrival, make your way to the registration table where we will have your sign in sheet, extra copies of paperwork and tape to make name tags.
- As a Christian ministry, we begin our day with prayer. Everyone is welcome, regardless of your faith. If you prefer not to participate, please join in after the prayer for safety information. Sites and/or tasks are assigned after the safety overview.
- If you’re unable to stay for your full volunteer shift, please let us know as soon as possible!
- The construction staff appreciates when volunteers assist in cleaning up the site.
- If you are uncomfortable with a task or need more information to complete it, please talk to your leader. They will teach you how to safely and effectively complete a task or help you find an alternative task. Your safety is our first priority!
What to Wear
- Thick soled shoes that cover your entire foot are required on the construction site, preferably steel toe boots or athletic shoes. Absolutely no sandals or open-toe shoes are allowed.
- Most work is outside – please dress appropriately for the weather. We encourage pants to protect your legs from scrapes and scratches, but shorts are acceptable.
- Clothes that can get dirty are strongly encouraged – rips, stains, and drips are common on the construction site.
- Out of respect for our diverse population of volunteers, we request that all volunteers wear modest attire and refrain from wearing clothing with suggestive and/or profane designs.
- Hard hats are required on most sites. They are used by many volunteers, so you may want to bring a handkerchief or scarf to cover your head under the hard hat. Headbands for volunteers are available on construction sites.
- For your safety, please be sure to follow the construction team’s instructions for proper use of hard hats.
What to Bring
- Water is provided on site. Please bring a water bottle and feel free to refill from our coolers.
- When volunteering for a full day, please bring a bagged lunch or plan to purchase lunch near the site.
- Snacks are provided for break. If you have allergies or restrictions, feel free to bring a snack with you.
- Tools will be provided on site. You’re welcome to bring your own tool belt and small hand tools. Please do not bring power tools, such as saws, nail guns, etc. Be sure personal tools are labeled with your name. Beaches Habitat is not responsible for lost or damaged personal items.
- It is preferred that you use the hard hats provided on site. Hard hats expire! We monitor our hard hats for wear and to be sure they are used within the lifespan recommended by the manufacturer.
- There is no safe place to store valuables. Please leave valuables at home or locked in your vehicle.
- Please do not bring pets or children younger than 16.
Age Restrictions for Youth
- All volunteers must be age 16 or older to assist on a Beaches Habitat construction site. Opportunities may occasionally become available for 14 or 15 year old volunteers. Please contact our Community Outreach Director at email@example.com for more information.
- A parent or legal guardian’s signature is required for all volunteers younger than 18 years of age.
- For their safety and to ensure compliance with age restrictions, all volunteers under 18 years of age will be given a colored wrist band or name tag during volunteer check-in to identify them as minors.
- When volunteering as a group, one adult supervisor (age 25 or older) should accompany every four youth volunteers. Adults are responsible for assuring all applicable Beaches Habitat construction site and age restriction policies are followed.
- Volunteers must be at least 18 years of age to work on a ladder, roof or scaffolding, or use power tools. A full copy of Beaches Habitat’s Youth Policy is available upon request.
- There is no smoking or vaping on the construction site. Designated smoking areas are available.
- Please silence cell phones for safety purposes and step away from the construction site for any calls, texts, etc. When possible, wait for scheduled breaks to use cell phones.
There should be no head phones or ear buds on the construction sites to ensure that volunteers can hear directions, announcements and safety warnings. When it is appropriate, leaders may play music appropriate for a Christian ministry.
- Volunteers are welcome to take photographs. Please try to minimize disruption to construction activities while doing so.
- Construction locations, workdays and assignments are subject to change due to the unpredictable nature of volunteer construction work. Your patience and cooperation is appreciated so that we can ensure a safe and enjoyable environment for all.
Construction Site Safety
- We need your help to keep our construction sites safe! If you see anything that appears unsafe, please correct it if possible or notify your leader. No task is more important than keeping yourself and your fellow workers safe.
- Notify a leader of any injuries. First aid kits are available and emergency care will be contacted when necessary.
- Free online safety training is available for all Beaches Habitat volunteers. The access code for courses is: W8NAEBTG. You may take any course available on the site and we highly recommend the following:
- You are Exposed: General Affiliate Safety
- Fall Safety
- Volunteering on a Habitat for Humanity Job Site
Volunteer Code of Conduct
Becoming a Habitat volunteer comes with great rewards and responsibilities. Volunteers like you are representatives of Habitat for Humanity and its ministry. When you accept a volunteer role with Habitat for Humanity, you are committing to act in a way that promotes Habitat’s mission, respects the local community, and ensures the safety of all participants. In addition to complying with all laws, regulations, and Habitat for Humanity policies, all volunteers are expected to follow the volunteer code of conduct outlined below.
- Promote a respectful community: Treat all volunteers, employees and community members with respect, courtesy, and dignity. This includes avoiding the use of humiliating, demeaning, offensive, or otherwise insensitive language that fails to respect the dignity of the person. Volunteers are also expected to refrain from engaging in intimidation, physical, sexual, and/or emotional violence toward others. Help promote a welcoming, respectful environment by making efforts to understand and honor the local culture and by following all rules and policies set forth by a Habitat program staff member or supervising volunteer. Use of social media should be governed by the principles of respecting and protecting vulnerable populations while preserving their dignity and privacy. You are discouraged from posting anything on social media that permits beneficiaries from being identified and/or traced.
- Respect the human rights of all people and protect beneficiaries and community members from exploitation and abuse. All Habitat volunteers must model behavior consistent with the Habitat for Humanity International Safeguarding Policy which protects staff, beneficiaries, and community members (especially vulnerable adults and children) from exploitation and abuse. Inappropriate physical or sexual relationships with other volunteers is prohibited. Under no circumstances, may volunteers engage in sexual activity with a child (a person under the age of 18, regardless of the legal age of consent and local laws), any Habitat staff or beneficiaries, or any community members. This includes not procuring commercial sex acts, even where such activities are permitted by local laws.
- Prioritize site safety: Safety rules and guidelines on the volunteer site have been created to keep you and others safe as you volunteer and must be followed. Activities that pose a safety risk to yourself or others should be avoided. Report any unsafe working conditions to the onsite supervisor.
- Uphold a zero-tolerance policy for alcohol, drugs and weapons: The purchase or possession of drugs or weapons is strictly prohibited on Habitat for Humanity property and volunteer sites. The purchase or possession of alcohol is also strictly prohibited on Habitat for Humanity volunteer sites, even if permitted by local laws or by the laws of the volunteer’s home country.
- Follow the gift giving policy: To avoid potential misunderstandings, embarrassment, injured feelings or jealousy, volunteers are asked not to exchange gifts with Habitat beneficiaries, staff members or community members without consulting Habitat staff. Volunteers may speak with a staff member about appropriate ways to exchange gifts and our staff is happy to suggest gifts that will benefit the entire community.
- Protect ministry assets: Use reasonable care to protect all Habitat for Humanity resources. Stealing, misappropriation or diversion of Habitat for Humanity funds, property, or other assets for personal benefit is not permitted, nor is otherwise engaging in fraudulent activity regarding Habitat for Humanity’s assets, operations, or beneficiaries.
- Maintain confidentiality: Build trust with other volunteers and Habitat for Humanity by respecting the confidentiality of volunteers, staff, Habitat beneficiaries, and community members. Unless you receive prior written approval from HFHI, you will not disclose confidential HFHI information or confidential information given to you by others.
- Speak up!: Habitat for Humanity embraces a “see something, say something” culture. If you become aware of potential misconduct, help reinforce our culture of courage and accountability by sharing your concerns with an appropriate Habitat staff or supervising volunteer. You can also anonymously report potential misconduct through MySafeWorkplace.com.
Volunteer on Your Own
Anyone, age 16 or older, can sign up to help with home construction. Please review our guidelines and Volunteer FAQs if you'd like more information about volunteering on the construction site.
Opportunities are typically available 5 days each week. Volunteers will be paired with a staff member or Crew Leader who will teach you what you need to know to have a safe and productive day. We provide all of the tools and equipment - you just need to dress for the weather, wear sturdy shoes that cover your entire foot, and come ready to work!
Visit our volunteer calendar to see locations, times, and availability. Please be sure to register so we know you're coming!
Volunteer with a Group
Whether you are looking for an opportunity for your company, church group, family, or more, we welcome groups to reserve a day to build on our construction sites. Group scheduling is a popular team-building activity, so opportunities are filled on a first-come, first-served basis.
Group opportunities are available on Thursday and Friday from 8am to 12pm and every other Saturday from 8:30am to 12:30pm.
To get the process started, complete the group request form or contact Sarah Jared, Community Outreach Director, at (904) 595-5793 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Once your group is scheduled, you will receive more information to help you prepare for your day on site.
Construction Crew Leadership
Crew Leaders lead small groups of volunteers in construction tasks. They are skilled volunteers who have made an ongoing commitment to work with Beaches Habitat. Many begin as individual volunteers who develop their construction and leadership skills through continued participation in the building program.
Crew Leader responsibilities include:
- Arriving on site 20 minutes prior to the start of construction to help with set up and to review task goals for the day.
- Teaching other volunteers appropriate construction methods and techniques and overseeing their work.
- Providing safety equipment necessary for the tasks and ensuring that it is used consistently and correctly.
- Ensuring that volunteers are working in a safe and fun environment and are enjoying their experience.
- Assisting volunteers in meeting the task goals for the day.
- Following the guidance of the House Captain to ensure appropriate construction and safety standards are maintained.
To qualify to be a Crew Leader, volunteers should:
- Be at least 18 years of age.
- Volunteer consistently with Beaches Habitat for Humanity on site, at least twice per month for 4 to 6 months.
- Have a recommendation from a member of the construction staff and receive approval from the construction department.
- Priority scheduling
- Beaches Habitat construction manual
- Beaches Habitat "Crew Leader" hard hat
Court Ordered Volunteers
Beaches Habitat for Humanity allows some volunteers to complete mandated hours on our construction site. However, we do have limitations, based on the charge or reason for your required hours. Follow the link below to view our full policy and to submit your information for consideration. Please be sure to submit your final judgment or other official document noting the charge before you start your hours. A member of our staff will review your request and let you know if you qualify.
To encourage and empower more female construction volunteers, Beaches Habitat selects one home each year to be our Women Build.
All are welcome, regardless of your skills or construction experience. Our knowledgeable staff and volunteer leaders will teach and guide you. It's a fun, friendly, mostly female environment.
Whether you want to learn new skills or meet new people, Women Build is a rewarding experience.
Join our Women Build email list to stay up to date on Women Build opportunities.
What better way to put God's love into action than by helping your neighbors to build a home they can afford?
Each year, Beaches Habitat partners with faith communities to support a home build. Your congregation can be involved in a number of ways that include:
Use the link below to request information about the Interfaith Build via email.