Some people love building things or improving their homes or other surroundings in their community. So, if you're skilled with a hammer, power tools, and paintbrush—or if a trip to the local building supply store is the highlight of your weekend—you may want to consider putting those skills to work for the greater good. And there are plenty of ways to do so.
For those with construction, carpentry, or related skills, some organizations focus on building or repairing homes for people in need and rebuilding after natural disasters. Habitat for Humanity is probably the most well-known. Still, organizations like the Fuller Center for Housing, Rebuilding Together, Homes for Heroes, and others help people build, repair, and maintain a place to call home.
You may find opportunities to use your do-it-yourself (DIY) skills in your community. Connect with local nonprofits specializing in public spaces to find out if they have options. Something as simple as a fresh coat of paint can brighten a public space, community center, or other areas. Contractors in your community may already be giving back and be able to offer recommendations to help you put your DIY talent to work, so making a few calls to local builders may give you some ideas, too.
Natural disasters have the potential to devastate communities worldwide. Often, disaster response organizations need volunteers who can participate in rebuilding homes, schools, and other critical structures. Organizations like Team Rubicon, All Hands and Hearts, and the Red Cross deploy disaster relief teams in hard-hit communities.
If you know someone who is older or is a person with a disability who may have difficulty in their own home, you may be able to help. Use your DIY skills to replace smoke and carbon monoxide detectors or help install motion-activated lights or a video doorbell to help keep the home safer and more secure. Help tape down tripping hazards like rugs and wires or, if appropriate, assist with other home repairs. Simple tasks can help improve in-home safety.
Some organizations offer international opportunities to help communities build and rebuild. For example, Habitat for Humanity or Global Volunteers offer construction-related volunteer opportunities in various countries. These engagements may require longer-term commitments but could give you life-changing opportunities to help people worldwide.
If you’re looking for more ideas and inspiration for your next volunteer opportunity, visit www.createthegood.org to find opportunities, ideas, and resources to help make a difference.