Moving to a new town is always stressful, no matter how excited you are about it. There is always going to be a lot of uncertainty. There is all the paperwork you have to stay on top of and a brand-new house to get used to inhabiting. You will be wondering about making new friends, if that new job is going to be everything you hoped for, and you will be wondering where all the good stores are. However, as stressful and as disorienting as the process of a big move can be, it is essential to remember that it is an opportunity. This is a chance for you and your family to join a community, to build something special and something positive.

With that in mind, one of the most common concerns, when you move to a new town, is: well, how do you go about finding that community and meeting people? So much of our non-profit organization socializing is done online nowadays, even more so thanks to the Coronavirus pandemic. That can make forming new friendship groups and getting a feel for your neighborhood particularly difficult. One of the best ways you can feel like part of a community is giving back to it.

If you’re looking for a charity focused on community, that’s what Dorchester Habitat For Humanity is all about. We offer a whole range of different ways that you can give back to make life better for residents who need a helping hand and a roof over their heads. Habitat For Humanity was founded in 1993 by a small group of community-minded individuals and some local churches in response to the clear need for affordable housing built to a good standard. Our mission statement is to help low-income families feel safe and secure with the chance to own a home of their own, and to date, we have helped more than 180 Dorchester residents by building 67 homes.

So, how can you get involved?

Roll Up Your Sleeves And Help Build A Brighter Future

If you’re looking for a way to give back and get involved with a local community project, what’s better than getting out there and volunteering? Building a home is an all-hands-on-deck kind of activity, and there are many different ways to lend a hand. At Dorchester Habitat for Humanity, we estimate that it takes approximately 2,000 volunteer hours to build a house, so whatever time you can spare will make a massive difference to our projects.

If you’re feeling handy, you can pitch it with the construction itself. Anyone who has ever put up a structure themselves will know the satisfaction that comes from a hard day’s work building something with a purpose, and there’s something extraordinary about building a home. It’s also important to note that this is not a solo activity, far from it! You can bring your family along to take part and meet fellow like-minded community members. However, it’s important to note that children under 16 will not be allowed on the construction site itself for health and safety reasons. If you’re joining a new team at work, you can take part in a group build to bring that team together, and volunteer opportunities are available for student and youth groups if your kids are looking for activities to enjoy.

However, it’s not all about working on the site itself. If you or someone in your family has a particular gift for paperwork and administration, we have in-office volunteer opportunities available too.

Volunteer Your Time To Help Raise Money

Did you know that Americans dump more than 250 million tons of material and that a considerable part of that is recyclable? Volunteering your time at a store that finds ways to repair and resell used or unwanted items isn’t just helping the people in the local community; it’s helping you do your part for the environment we all share. If you’re looking for a great place to give your time and use your creativity, the Dorchester Habitat for Humanity’s ReStore could always use an extra pair of hands. The ReStore is our home improvement outlet, where charity, creativity, and ingenuity combine to help our mission to provide suitable affordable housing for those in need.

Think About What Else You Can Give

There is nothing like moving to a new home to make you aware of just how much stuff you have that you don’t need. We’ve all stood over those piles of boxes, opening up yet another container and asking ourselves, “Why do we even have this?” It’s not just about the items that you no longer have any practical use for, however. A move is an opportunity for a fresh start, and we can all benefit from a little Marie Kondo-ing our belongings to see what might be better appreciated by someone else.

There is a lot to be said for the mental benefits of sorting through our old possessions and seeing what we can donate and give away; it can enrich the family experience. If you want to make sure you start giving back to your community right away, think about taking those unwanted items and possessions to your local charity shop to make sure they find a home. Our ReStore website has a list of all the donated items that we can accept, and it includes everything from gently used furniture and home appliances to clothing, CDs, and DVDs. Remember, your donation is tax-deductible, and the proceeds generated from the sale of the items you donate helps families find adequate, affordable housing in Dorchester County.

Make A Little Difference Every Day

No matter what town or neighborhood you move to, there will always be someone who needs a bit of extra help. If you want to feel like you’re making a difference to your new community, ask around to see how you can make a difference. Local forums are always a good place to start, or you could stop in at your local church to find out more about local charity endeavors. Think about whether you could spare a little extra from your weekly grocery shop budget to contribute to a local food bank. Could one of the local schools use a helping hand to organize their activities? Is there a system set up to ensure that people who can’t leave their homes to do their shopping and pay their bills have someone who can stop by regularly and help them out? After all, being a part of a community isn’t about waiting to see who knocks on your door asking for help; it’s about being proactive and making things better.

And that’s what Dorchester Habitat for Humanity is all about. We saw a way to make a real difference in people’s lives, and we took it upon ourselves to make the change. If you want to read more about how you can contribute your time or make a donation, see what events we have coming up, or if you know someone who could benefit from our homeownership program, visit our website or give us a call.

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