Originally Posted by cruizerEd
I'm interested in this program but don't want to waste my time. I want to know in detail what the work day was like. Socializing and getting to know people is great but I like to work and make good things.
Also two weeks seems like a really short time to make a significant contribution to building a house. I feel like I would just be getting started and then have to quit just when my productivity was getting good.
I've done other working volunteer programs and I was very dissatisfied with the organization and the results. That is to say the quality and the quantity of work accomplished give the number of people available and the work that needed to be done. The worst part was leaving feeling like you produced a substandard product because you were just thrown at a project with no planning, no coordination, no clear goals, and no good resources.
Along with a number of others, I just finished a Habitat project that took several months from start to finish. I spent weeks taping about 2K square feet of rooms. I already know how to tape, so I'd show up, tape until I got tired or things needed to dry, see what else needed to be done, and do those things if I could until it was time to go home. I got involved in the taping, electrical repairs, and plumbing as well as a couple of small sheetrocking projects. The team was good to work with and I learned some stuff about painting and putting up hand rails that I never knew.
The results were not perfect, as one might expect from amateur volunteers, but it's better than I've seen from a number of professionals. (When you do stuff like this, *you* and your team see the defects nobody else notices.)
Every affiliate is a bit different, but ours *loves* volunteers that volunteer a lot of hours/days/weeks on one of more projects. There are regulars who are happy to show you how to do things, too. It's worth some discussion with the volunteer coordinator and build manager to see if you can get what you want out of it. Generally, they and the volunteers share the overall goals. All I can really add is that if you can't work out something mutually satisfactory with your local affiliate, try one the next county over.