Youth Volunteering

Austin Habitat brings together youth from across Central Texas to learn about affordable homeownership, gain leadership skills, and cultivate a dedication to service.

Get Engaged

By engaging with Austin’s future leaders, policymakers, and influencers, our goal is to spread awareness about the need for decent, affordable shelter and its profound impact on our community and economy. We offer opportunities for youth to get involved in their community, become educated about community needs, develop leadership skills, foster teamwork, receive hands-on training and become advocates for their passion.

Family Build Day

Three to four times a year, Austin Habitat will hold a Family Build Day during which families and children of all ages lay sod, define flower beds, spread mulch, plant trees, rake and sweep, and do other fun activities alongside our partner families. Check the Volunteer Calendar to find the next scheduled Family Build Day.

Other Fun Activities

  • Decorate the studs with blessings or messages to the partner family
  • Build birdhouses, flower boxes, key chains or simple picture frames
  • Become an advocate of Austin Habitat’s mission and spread awareness about the need for affordable homeownership
  • Serve lunch or snacks at the worksite
  • Build items like birdhouses, playhouses, mailboxes, dollhouses and others that we can sell at the ReStore to help build a home
  • Fundraise creatively, like a “Nickels for Nails” drive, or ask your friends to donate according to their shoe size
  • Use social media to help Austin Habitat to raise awareness and funds

Activities By Age

These age-appropriate activities are broken into general age categories for easy reference. However, many of these ideas will be useful and appropriate for multiple age ranges or can be used in a modified form.

Ages 5 and up

  • Make a welcome basket for the homeowner family
  • Sing a song at the dedication
  • Draw or color greeting cards to be sold or thank-you notes to send to donors

Ages 7 and up

  • Coordinate a birthday gift project for partner family children
  • Build a house out of Legos and send a picture of it to Austin Habitat, and take it to school to share!

Ages 10 and up

  • Construct and paint flower boxes to be used as housewarming gifts
  • Design a T-shirt

Ages 12 and up

  • Paint birdhouses or flower boxes for homeowners
  • Produce a video about affordable housing issues in Austin
  • Write a letter to your legislators advocating for policies that promote affordable homeownership

Ages 15 and up

  • Build a picnic or lunch tables
  • Tutor our partner family children
  • Run a social media campaign

Youth Volunteer Policy

Out of concern for the safety of children and due to child labor laws, Austin Habitat follows a very strict Youth Volunteer Policy. While youth under 16 aren’t allowed to volunteer on active construction sites, there are lots of other ways to get involved.

The purpose of this policy is to ensure the safety of children on Austin Habitat for Humanity construction sites. The youth policy was approved by the Austin Habitat for Humanity Board of Directors and Habitat for Humanity International. Full policy language is available upon request.

Summary

While it is important that children be involved with the work of Habitat for Humanity, it is also important that they be engaged only in age-appropriate activities. The most important issue is the safety and well-being of all children.

Youth, aged 18 and above may engage in all tasks available in New Construction, Home Repair, and ReStore. Home Repair and Blitz Build volunteers must be at least 18 years old to participate.

Youth aged 16-17 may engage in general new construction work but are not permitted to use power tools or to work from a height of more than six feet. Volunteers age 16-17 are required to provide their own adult supervision (adult supervisor must be a parent or legal guardian over the age of 21).

Youth aged 15 and younger are prohibited from working on an active construction site, however, they may engage in limited activities such as lunch sponsorship, landscaping or painting. Supervision of these youth will require a 1:5 adult to children ratio and projects are only available on a periodic basis.

IN RECOGNITION OF FEDERAL LABOR LAWS AND THE POTENTIAL RISK TO CHILDREN’S SAFETY, NO ONE UNDER THE AGE OF 16 IS ALLOWED ON AN ACTIVE CONSTRUCTION SITE.

For questions regarding Youth Engagement contact Volunteer Services at 512-472-8788 x106 or volservices@austinhabitat.org.

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Austin Habitat for Humanity
500 W Ben White Blvd
Austin, TX 78704

(512) 472-8788

Hours
Monday to Friday
8:30am – 5:30pm

ReStore Austin
500 W Ben White Blvd
Austin, TX 78704

(512) 478-2165

Hours
Monday to Saturday
9:00am – 8:00pm

Sunday
11:00am – 6:00pm

ReStore San Marcos
2521 South Interstate 35 Frontage Rd.
San Marcos, TX 78666

(512) 738-8383

Hours
Monday to Saturday
9:00am – 8:00pm

Sunday
11:00am – 6:00pm