Frequently Asked Questions for Volunteers

If you would like to speak with our staff and other community members about volunteering with Lake-Geauga Habitat for Humanity.

Construction Volunteer FAQ

 I’ve never held a hammer in my life; can I still work on site?

We welcome volunteers of all skill levels and we provide all the training you will need! No previous construction experience is required to volunteer with us. Please however be aware that construction is a physically demanding activity. We require every volunteer to complete a waiver before participating in any construction activity.

Are there volunteer information sessions? Do I need to attend?

We offer volunteer orientation at our offices at 100 Parker Court, Chardon, OH 44024, 12180 Kinsman Rd., Newbury, OH 44065, as well as at different community facilities in the Lake and Geauga Counties, for those interested in learning more about our organization and opportunities. They are required before volunteering. Click here for a calendar of our upcoming sessions.

How old do I have to be to work on site?

Volunteers must be at least 16 years old to work on at any of our construction sites, including park beautifications, and at least 18 to work on scaffolding or use power tools. Volunteers must be at least 14 years old to volunteer at the ReStore.

At our construction sites and ReStore, for each group of four minors (under age 18), there must be one adult (over age 21) present. All volunteers under 18 must arrive onsite with a waiver signed by their parent or legal guardian.

Is there parking available for volunteers?

Street parking is limited at all job sites. We encourage volunteers to take public transportation, carpool and pay close attention to city parking restrictions.

How long is the build day?

When you volunteer at one of our construction sites you will be working a full day 8-hour shift. Our park beautifications are 3 hours and our ReStore has 4-hour half day shifts, as well as 8-hour full day shifts.

Can I come late/leave early?

No, the construction workday is non-negotiable. We ask that you stay for the entirety of the shift you signed up for. When people show up late or leave early it makes it difficult for our supervisors to properly train volunteers and accomplish the goals for the day.

What time do I need to be onsite?

Times vary depending on the job site. Please visit our volunteer calendar to see our current volunteer opportunities and their hours. When you register for a build day, you will receive additional information specific to your job site.

It’s raining! What do I do?

Don’t fret! We often build during the rain, but if weather conditions cause safety concerns, your build day could be cancelled.  Please call 440-226-3000 (for Lake-Geauga Habitat for Humanity)  after 7:00am on the morning of your build day and a recording will alert you if the build day has been cancelled. If the build day has not been cancelled, please bring rain gear and be prepared to work outside.

ReStore Volunteer FAQ

What will I be doing at the ReStore?

Volunteers help with many of the ReStore’s operations, so activities can vary. For most new volunteers, tasks may include helping unload donations from vehicles, moving items to the floor, reorganizing or cleaning departments, helping customers load their vehicle with a new purchase, among other tasks. We will make every effort to match you with your preferred tasks as we get to know you and your interests. Please visit our volunteer opportunity page to learn more.

What should I wear to volunteer at the ReStore?

Wear comfortable clothes that you don’t mind getting dirty and closed toe/heeled shoes (athletic shoes or boots are best; please no ballet slippers, crocs, heels, clogs or sandals). The ReStore can get cool so please bring a sweater or sweat shirt.  The ReStore provides work gloves but they are often mismatched and not in the best condition. Consider bringing your own pair for maximum work comfort.

How old do I have to be to volunteer?

Anyone under age 18 volunteering at the ReStore must have a parent/guardian co-sign their waiver before beginning work. The minimum age for ReStore volunteers is 16 due to safety concerns. We can provide the waiver forms.

Is there parking?

The ReStore has limited parking reserved for customers on Friday and Saturday. Volunteers and staff may park behind the fence in the back of the building.

Can I bring a group?

Certainly! We can accommodate groups of up to 10 people volunteering at the ReStore. Contact Volunteer Coordinator Maryellen at msundstrom@habitatgeauga.org or 440.226.3000 for more information or to schedule your group.

How does my time help Habitat?

Every task a volunteer does helps ease our operational costs, keeping our overhead cost down so more of the money received funds Lake-Geauga Habitat for Humanity home building projects. Nationally, the ReStore program is one of the largest sources of unrestricted funding for Habitat, second only to the mortgage repayments we receive.

Can I just show up and start working?

Volunteers must attend an orientation and complete an interview with the ReStore Manager. ReStore Volunteers make a minimum of a three month commitment

I’ll be there all day. Do you provide lunch?

Though we cannot offer lunch, we do have a break room with a microwave, refrigerator and coffee maker and usually we provide snacks but volunteers can always bring their own lunch.

Can volunteers work at the store everyday?

YES! Volunteers are needed at the ReStore Wednesday-Saturday from 9-5. Shifts run from 9-1 and 1-5.

Do volunteers receive a discount for working at ReStore?

No, but our prices are already low. However, merchandise must be available to the public for two working days before a volunteer may purchase it.

I have a special skill that I think would be helpful to the Geauga County ReStore, but I don’t see a category anywhere under the volunteer job descriptions. How can I help using that skill?

Contact the ReStore to find out where you can help. We can use all sorts of skills: plumbing to artistic talent to everything in between. Email Maryellen at msundstrom@habitatgeauga.org or call 440.226.3000 ext. 107.

I have some physical limitations, can I still volunteer?

Yes! We need regular office volunteers to help with database administration, our online accounts and answering the phone. Also, our cashiers stay at the register, greet customers and ring-up purchases.

What if I can’t make it?

If there is any reason you are unable to volunteer for a time you signed up for please contact the ReStore as soon as possible. Contact us at 440.226.3212 or email Maryellen at msundstrom@habitatgeauga.org.

Can I bring my personal items with me to ReStore?

The ReStore does not provide lockers to store personal items but volunteers are responsible for the items that they bring.

Why do I have to sign the Volunteer Waiver?

Everyone must sign the Volunteer Agreement, Assumption of Risk, and Release Liability Form each workday before they are allowed to begin work. Lake-Geauga Habitat for Humanity is required to have a record of your participation for legal, insurance and statistical purposes.