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Habitat's Volunteer Programs

Updated on July 17, 2015

Travel With Purpose

Most people think of Habitat for Humanity at a local level, building homes for the poor, but they are so much more. They also offer three types of short term volunteer trips: RV Care-a-Vanners, Disaster Corps and Global Village. Habitat also provides low-income families affordable housing through no-interest loans. They collaborate with local communities to organize volunteers and coordinate house building and repair.

In 1965, Millard and Linda Fuller visited Koinonia Farm founded by Clarence Jordan. Jordan and Fuller developed the idea for Habitat for Humanity. The idea was that of those in need of shelter working side by side with volunteers to build simple, affordable houses. The homes would be financed through "The Fund for Humanity" which was to be fed by the new homeowners' no interest house payments, donations and fund-raising. In 1968, the first set of homes were built. In 1973, the Fullers decided to offer the same concept in Zaire. In 1976, the Fullers met with a group of supporters and Habitat for Humanity was formed.

Types of Projects

There are three basic types of short term projects as well as the Thrivent program.

  1. RV Care-A-Vanners - if you own an RV, this program offers projects along your travel route. For two weeks, you can take part in building a house for someone in need.

  2. Disaster Corps - When a disaster strikes, volunteers are needed. In this program you may assist with support after the disaster or you might work towards preparedness for the future.

  3. Global Village Program - In this program you can travel anywhere in the world where you will be involved with building affordable homes, fundraise to build these homes or advocate for improved housing.

  4. Thrivent Builds with Habitat for Humanity - Thrivent Financial for Lutherans teams up with Habitat for Humanity to build homes around the world. Thrivent works in partnership with the Global Village program.


You can find programs all over the world including right in your neighborhood.

For the Care-a-Vanner program, locations are only in the United States. Check the website for locations of build sites. You need to register for the location you are interested in.

For the Disaster Corps, you are ‘on call’. When a disaster occurs, you can be called to see if you are available.

The Global Village Program is like other volunteer vacations. There are specific locations all over the world where programs are available. Check with the website for locations.

All Volunteers

The breeze, the trees, the honey bees -

All volunteers!

~Juliet Carinreap

Time Commitment

You can volunteer for one day, for one week, for one month or longer.

In the Care-a-Vanner program, people often add volunteer time on to their vacation.

The Global Village Program – expect to work a full work week with weekends and evenings off for local sightseeing. Check with your support crew for ideas or planned activities.

Discovery Corps

Skills Required

No special skills are required. There are projects in a variety of areas including construction, legal, financial, development, clerical, computer, or just plain manual labor.

If you have skills in any of these areas, you are welcome to offer them in your project. Or you can opt for the manual labor, all levels of abilities are welcome. You will be trained for tasks required at each location.

Habitat's Volunteer Programs

Which type of program would you rather volunteer for?

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Where you stay depends on the project you work on.

  • Care-A-Vanner program, you will be staying in your RV and will have at least minimal electrical hookups, access to water and a nearby dump station. Free or low-cost RV parking will be provided. You are responsible for all your own food.

  • Disaster Corps program, you might receive some financial assistance for food and lodging. You may stay in a church, school, private home or hotel.

  • Global Village programs provide accommodations and food. Lodging may be in a hotel, guesthouse, dormitory or church. All meals are provided.

Global Village Trip to China


For Care-A-Vanner and Disaster Corps, the costs will vary widely depending on where you go and how long you stay. Habitat does not pay for food or lodging for these programs.

For Global Village, costs begin at about $1500.00 per week. Cost includes:


Non Included




Trip Insurance

Trip Leader/Orientation



Vaccinations if required

In-country Transportation


Project equipment and materials


Local fees or permits when required

Additional trips/excursions

Have You Volunteered for Habitat?

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