When volunteers stop coming and we have deadlines, we either have to subcontract the work, which costs money, or it just takes longer and we don’t meet our production guidelines.
Minneapolis, MN (PRWEB) January 25, 2012
Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity builds and restores homes year-round, with nearly as many projects underway in January and February as in the organization’s peak summer season.
But Habitat says volunteer numbers often dip as the mercury plummets.
“People think we don’t have a lot going on in the winter, but that’s not true – the last couple of winters especially,” said Habitat’s Volunteer Coordinator Anna Meyer.
The nonprofit needs upwards of 150 volunteers per day to keep its 15-plus projects on-pace. The need is greatest for volunteers during the week and for those willing to help on projects in the Twin Cities’ southwest suburbs.
Having sufficient volunteers to complete a home means families – especially those stuck in unsafe or unstable housing – can buy their homes on time. Habitat homebuyers all sign a zero-interest mortgage and must complete hundreds of hours of sweat equity.
“We’re geared up as a volunteer operation,” explained Site Supervisor Tara Lumley. “When volunteers stop coming and we have deadlines, we either have to subcontract the work, which costs money, or it just takes longer and we don’t meet our production guidelines.”
Meeting spring closing dates is also important to secure public and private funding for the homes, Meyer added.
Winter volunteering with Habitat is a chance to learn new skills, cure cabin fever and indulge interests with special theme days like Coffee Lovers Build, First-Timers Build and Couples Build. Group sponsorship opportunities are also more flexible in the winter months.
Most work is done indoors, and volunteers are never expected to work in extremely cold temperatures. Lumley said winter volunteers often work on insulation, dry walling, painting, trim, cabinets and doors.
Whatever their task, the importance of having a steady flow of volunteers cannot be overstated.
“We have maybe three people on our site supervisor staff that are as fast as 10 volunteers, but I am not one of them,” Lumley laughed.
Those interested in volunteering with Twin Cities Habitat may visit http://www.tchabitat.org/volunteer to sign up.