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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    VA
    Posts
    15

    Default Have any of you volunteered for Habitat for Humanity?

    Right now I am an apprentice under a carpenter in additions/remodeling and am thinking of volunteering with HfH on the weekends for boosted work experience and to keep moving on and ahead in the field, as it is my definite chosen career path.

    Do any of you have experiences with it? Good? Bad? Recommend?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Friday Harbor, San Juan Island, Washington
    Posts
    13,029

    Default Re: Have any of you volunteered for Habitat for Humanity?

    It depends completely on the folks at Habitat where you are. In some cases there are mostly non-pro folks working on those jobs and I wonder how much you'd learn. I have worked on a few sites for them as part of a job I had, where I took student crews out to work there. We did some teaching, and we got some work done, but it was not a highly professional environment. I think you'd be better off working your butt off 40 hours per week on your job, and spending some time in community college classes in the evenings if they have trades or math topics. I assume that you are not part of a formal apprenticeship program and do not have access to their training.

    If you don't feel like you are learning enough in the job you have, look carefully for another one. Lotsa guys like me would give a right arm for a guy with your attitude towards learning.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Portland, ME
    Posts
    6,302

    Default Re: Have any of you volunteered for Habitat for Humanity?

    I am active with my local Habitat and I think it's a great organization despite it's religious provenance (fortunately our local group is light on that) but I would do it for the value of the work to your community, not for the experience. Most Habitats don't allow nail guns and are careful with power tools for obvious reasons. I don't think you'll learn much carpentry, although having the volunteer experience on your resume might impress a potential employer.

    It seems to be my night to shadow David. I agree that if you don't think you're learning enough you should look for another job.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    VA
    Posts
    15

    Default Re: Have any of you volunteered for Habitat for Humanity?

    I think I am learning enough. But I want to use what I am learning as often as possible and learn as fast as possible. I love the company I work for so as of right now I don't want to look for another job.

    I think I will use my free time for a community college course or two each semester that they are offered, in whatever I can get that is close to carpentry or maybe even some sort of engineering or architecture. It's an idea I have been toying with for a while, but money has been a set back.

    I will try and get in touch with people that have volunteered for the area organization and see if they think it would be conducive to what I would like to get out of it. But from just browsing around the websites it seems like I would be better off working with old friends on side jobs on the weekends or doing small, gradual work for my girlfriend's parents like I've been doing.

    Do either of you own the JLC handbooks? Are they as informative as they seem they would be? Would it be something that you think one could look at one day and if during the following day a task involving whatever was read came up... it would help? I assume it would, pretty much like any sort of studying for any subject. But compared to one of the $25 books at the big orange or blue, how would JLC rate? I've only found this forum by chance, when I was searching for information on worm drives back when I was making my purchase; so I don't know much about JLC.

    Thanks for all the help.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Va.
    Posts
    3,675

    Default Re: Have any of you volunteered for Habitat for Humanity?

    Where in Virginia are you located?
    Last edited by Andrew R.; 12-16-2007 at 11:13 PM.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    VA
    Posts
    15

    Default Re: Have any of you volunteered for Habitat for Humanity?

    I'm in Richmond.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Friday Harbor, San Juan Island, Washington
    Posts
    13,029

    Default Re: Have any of you volunteered for Habitat for Humanity?

    I have both handbooks and a slew of other books. They are worth it, IMO, but I am sometimes looking for some fairly obscure info. I think one easy and free thing to do is read up on these forums daily.

    Maybe your employer would throw down some tuition money. I'd have a hard time saying no to that.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Meadow Vista, CA
    Posts
    2,170

    Default Re: Have any of you volunteered for Habitat for Humanity?

    Another valuable learning place in addition to this website (somedays more than others) and the magazine is to go to JLC Live. It can be a bit pricey what with hotel and food and all but you should learn enough there to pay you back many times over.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Brooklyn, Fire Island
    Posts
    5,414

    Default Re: Have any of you volunteered for Habitat for Humanity?

    You can get online access to every JLC article ever published, and each new issue as it comes out, for 60$/yr. Best 60$ I ever spent. Renewals' 30$.

    http://www.jlconline.com/cgi-bin/jlc...erTemplate/109
    Francois


    Truth is just one man's explanation for what he thinks he understands. (Walter Mosley)

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    St Louis, Mo for the past 25 years
    Posts
    7,666

    Default Re: Have any of you volunteered for Habitat for Humanity?

    While I have not worked with Habitat I have had several friends who did. Their work experiences varied. One went for a day and got there when most of the house construction was done. He spent the day helping plant shrubs and landscapeing the yard. Another went towards the first of the building and spent the day mostly stocking the deck with lumber, cutting headers and jack studs and cripples. Another got there on a day when they were raising the rafters and sheathing it. All have gone back. None were put off by dong tasks that they did not really want to do. They all told of it being a part of putting a family into a house. But all had hoped to learn a little more about their trade.

    You have to remember that these jobs are ongoing. You are there on weekends and quite possibly during the week is when they decide to do the one job you had hoped to learn. You get there on the weekend and end up doing something but not what you had hoped. Being flexible would be the main thing I would think would be in order.

    Most of all the friends who went told me of the fun, the amazing folks who you work with, the sense of accomplishment and helping that you get. One who has gone back several times has gotten to know a few folks and they try to work together when they can.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Chester, VA
    Posts
    77

    Default Re: Have any of you volunteered for Habitat for Humanity?

    curtis take a look at John Tyler community college in Chester they have a 31 credit certificate program in building construction at $80/ credit hour and you may qualify for financial aid. Let me know if I can help in some ay, I'm in Chester.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Va.
    Posts
    3,675

    Default Re: Have any of you volunteered for Habitat for Humanity?

    Quote Originally Posted by curtiswr View Post
    Right now I am an apprentice under a carpenter in additions/remodeling and am thinking of volunteering with HfH on the weekends for boosted work experience and to keep moving on and ahead in the field, as it is my definite chosen career path.

    Do any of you have experiences with it? Good? Bad? Recommend?
    If your employer is a remodeler council member I would ask him to allow you to go to meetings and events with him. They also have charity builds and repairs you can get involved with. Without telling him...... you also may find a better job through networking in these groups. I was on a joint legislative trip years ago to D.C. with the Richmond B.A. and thought they were a very proffessional group.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Chester, VA
    Posts
    77

    Default Re: Have any of you volunteered for Habitat for Humanity?

    not a member of HBA but seems they have varius certifications also to look into, maybe you can join as a student member or something

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    2,184

    Default Re: Have any of you volunteered for Habitat for Humanity?

    Some Habitat locations have stores that sell donated or excess materials. They almost always can use volunteers to sort the sellable goods from the junk; determining reasonable prices; stocking shelves; providing donuts and other munchies for the staff and volunteers (always a hit...); and obtaining new donations (for those how have contacts in the trades). Best part is that you can go in for an hour or a day, any time you want (coordinate with the store manager though...)

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Boise, Idaho
    Posts
    3,154

    Default Re: Have any of you volunteered for Habitat for Humanity?

    Isn't volunteering for HFH the same as working for free for your competition?

    A few years back they had a big dog and pony show when the governor's wife was in charge of building a HFH project. It was to be an "All-Ladies" event. After all the photo-op was over and the house sat there half done they ended up bringing a bunch of guys in to finish off the project. lol
    It is a simple matter of being patient. I do patience very well, except for the waiting part. That's the one aspect of patience that still bites me.

    I'm not saying I'm Superman. What I'm saying is no one has ever seen me and Superman in the same room together.

    ParkWest Homes LLC
    Working Man Online Store
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