Volunteer opportunities to help build homes

19 Aug 2013 | Cpl. Rubin J. Tan

Whether for fun or to help the community, volunteer opportunities are available throughout the year for service members with the help of Marine Corps Community Services, Family Readiness Officers and unit volunteers.

The LowCountry Habitat for Humanity is slated to begin construction on a new home starting in September at Pigeon Point for a local family.

"Volunteering in the community sets a good example for children around the world, and to be involved in such a good cause produces feelings that cannot be explained in words," said Cpl. Mark Berger, Headquarters and Headquarters Squadron data system specialist and Sulligent, Ala., native.

The LowCountry Habitat for Humanity is a local organization that helps families and the community by assisting in home construction and support.

Service members have the opportunity to receive the Military Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal which requires personnel to participate in sustained and direct volunteer service to the community of a consequential nature performed for a three year period.

Habitat volunteers have the opportunity to help in construction, office administration, fundraising, training partner families in subjects such as finance and budgeting, legal issue, home maintenance and more.

Prospective volunteers are required to complete a sign-up form found online at www.lowcountryhabitat.org/get-involved/volunteer-sign-up-form/ or call 843-522-3500.

To participate, a mandatory orientation is required by first time volunteers held at the Habitat office on 616 Parris Island Gateway, Beaufort, S.C. Orientations are held every second Saturday of each month at 10 a.m.

"We have been helping the northern Beaufort area since 1990, and from then on we have built 39 homes, worked on several homes and repairs, and maintained the ReStore," said Brenda Dooley, the LowCountry Habitat for Humanity executive director.

The Habitat for Huumanity ReStore is a nonprofit home-improvement store and donation center that sells new and gently used furniture, home accessories, building materials, and appliances to the public at a fraction of the retail price.

Volunteers have the opportunity to help at ReStores. Many positions are available.

There are no requirements for being a volunteer. Participants are able to choose when they volunteer and their role in the organization.

"The key part that makes us successful is we are helping families who have an invested interest in the program who also contribute their hard work and dedication in building their homes with volunteers," said Dooley, a native of Prole, Iowa.

For more information regarding volunteer opportunities contact unit Family Readiness Officers or unit chaplains. Information on the Military Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal can be found in MARADMIN 461/00.