Volunteer FAQ

Volunteer FAQ

Whether you’re new to Habitat or you’re a veteran volunteer, we know you may have questions about your upcoming volunteer opportunity. Please review the Frequently Asked Questions below to find answers to many of the most common questions we receive from volunteers. If the FAQ doesn’t answer your question, feel free to reach out to us at volunteer@gdmhabitat.org!

Construction & Rock the Block Volunteer FAQ

ReStore Volunteer FAQ


 

Construction and Rock the Block Volunteer FAQ

What should I wear?

Closed-toe shoes are required to volunteer on any Habitat site. We suggest that you wear something that you don’t mind getting dirty. Dressing in layers is recommended as the weather can change from the start to the end of the day.

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What if there is bad weather?

Rain, snow, or shine we still work to build homes, communities, and hope! If we are working outdoors and there is lightning, we take a 30 minute break and seek shelter. We rarely cancel or delay the start of the day, but if that happens we will send an email as soon as possible to inform volunteers who have signed up through our system of any changes. If the weather prevents you from making your scheduled volunteer shift, please make sure to email us, and let us know that you need to reschedule or cancel.

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Can I bring my child/niece/nephew/friend, etc.?

We ask that all volunteers register online by the Wednesday of the week before their volunteer shift. If you would like to bring someone with you, they can sign up online and click on the same volunteer opportunity and date for which you have signed up. Make sure you follow our youth policy (16 and older on a construction or Rock the Block site). If you have someone under the age of 18 accompanying you, they must have a waiver with the signature of a parent/guardian. Download the waiver here.

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What do I need to bring for my volunteer day?

GDM Habitat for Humanity provides all necessary tools and safety equipment for the day. You are more than welcome to bring your own tools, as long as they are in good working order. Make sure to put your name on any tools you bring. We do recommend that our volunteers bring a water bottle for the day, to keep hydrated on site.

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What will I be doing on my volunteer day?

Once you arrive at your volunteer site, a construction manager will begin with a safety talk and discuss the tasks for the day. If you ever feel uncomfortable performing a task you are assigned, talk to a construction manager and they will teach you what you need to know, or help you find another task on site.

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How do I cancel my shift?

Email us at volunteer@gdmhabitat.org or call (515) 471-8686 ext. 107 to let us know that you will need to cancel your volunteer shift. Please let us know as soon as possible if you need to cancel, to allow time for our construction managers to accurately plan. Please include the date of your volunteer shift so we can correctly mark it in our system.

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How old do you have to be to volunteer?

Our youth policy states that volunteers must be 16 years and older for construction and home repair sites, with one adult supervisor for every four youth. If a volunteer is under 18 years of age they will have to have a parent or guardian sign their waiver before they are able to volunteer. Download the waiver here.

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Can I arrive late?

We encourage our volunteers to arrive on site at the scheduled start time, as we begin with a meet and greet that includes information about Greater Des Moines Habitat for Humanity, tasks for the day, and a safety talk from our construction managers. If you must arrive late please contact us at volunteer@gdmhabitat.org or call (515) 471-8686 ext.107. Inform your construction manager (look for a person wearing a blue hard hat) of your arrival once you are on site, and they will fill you in on site safety and direct you to a task.

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What do I do if the safety quiz is not working?

Follow these instructions:

  • Visit this link: http://hfhaffiliateinsurance.com/
  • Scroll down to Online Safety Training Courses, next to Safety News and click “Begin Now.”
  • Click “Take Training Course Now,” enter the access code, W8NAEBTG, and click “submit.”
  • Go to “Volunteering on a Habitat for Humanity Job Site” under Recommended Courses and the video should pop up.
  • It may require that you download Adobe Flash Player if you do not already have it on your computer. Sometimes it also helps to clear your browsing data (history, cookies, and cache) in the settings menu of the browser you are using.

If the safety quiz is still not working after that, then please contact us at volunteer@gdmhabitat.org

Volunteers will also receive a safety talk on site from a construction manager at the beginning of the volunteer shift.

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Can I still volunteer if I don’t have construction experience?

No experience? No problem! We estimate that 90% of our volunteers have never swung a hammer before. Our on-site construction managers are available the entire day to teach you anything you need to know. We want our volunteers to feel safe on site, if there is a tool or task that you are not comfortable with simply let your construction manager know and they will help.

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ReStore Volunteer FAQ

What should I wear?

Closed-toe shoes are required to volunteer with the Habitat ReStores. We suggest that you wear something that you don’t mind getting dirty. Dressing in layers is recommended, as temperatures can vary dramatically between different areas in the stores.

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What will I be doing in the ReStore?

We have lots of tasks and projects to be completed in the ReStores. Processing and cleaning donations, organizing aisles, and stocking items are just a few examples of the many activities you may be helping with. Our ReStores associates will be on hand to guide you through activities and work alongside you, as well as answer any questions that you have during the shift.

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What if there is bad weather?

The ReStores are rarely closed due to bad weather. To check to see if there is a store delay or closure, please call the Habitat Weather Hotline at 515-471-8686 ext 411. If you need to cancel a shift due to weather or travel related issues, you can do so by emailing zfrank@gdmhabitat.org or by calling 515-471-8686 ext 140.

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Can I bring my child/niece/nephew/friend, etc.?

We ask that all volunteers register online prior to arriving for their volunteer shift. If you would like to bring someone with you, they can sign up using our online signup form and click on the same ReStore location, date, and shift time for which you have signed up. Make sure you follow our youth policy (14 and older in the ReStore). If you have someone under the age of 18 accompanying you, they must submit a waiver with the signature of a parent/guardian. Download the waiver here.

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What should I bring?

GDM Habitat for Humanity provides all necessary tools and safety equipment for the day. You are more than welcome to bring your own tools, as long as they are in good working order. Make sure to put your name on any tools you bring. We do recommend that our volunteers bring a water bottle for the day, to keep hydrated in the store.

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What should I do once I get to the ReStore?

Once you arrive at the ReStore, head to our Customer Service counter. One of our staff members can show you the check in and check out process, give you a brief tour, and get you started on projects. If at any time you feel uncomfortable performing a task you are assigned, speak with a staff member and they will teach you what you need to know, help you find another task, or answer any questions that you have.

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How do I cancel my shift?

Email us at zfrank@gdmhabitat.org or call (515) 471-8686 ext. 140 to let us know that you will need to cancel your volunteer shift. Please let us know as soon as possible if you need to cancel, and include the date of your volunteer shift so that we can correctly mark it in our system.

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How old do you have to be to volunteer?

To volunteer in the ReStore you must be 14 years and older, with one adult supervisor for every eight youth. If a volunteer is under 18 years of age they will have to have a parent or guardian sign their waiver before they are able to volunteer. Download the waiver here.

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Can I arrive late?

Please arrive at the start time of the shift you selected upon sign up. This ensures that our ReStore staff know when to expect volunteers, and can get you started on projects quickly when you arrive. If you must arrive late please contact us at zfrank@gdmhabitat.org or call (515) 471-8686 ext.140 to speak with a Volunteer Engagement staff member.

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