Frequently Asked Questions
1. Does Habitat for Humanity give houses away?
It’s a common misconception that Habitat for Humanity builds houses and then simply gives them away. We do not give houses away as that would be an entirely unsustainable nonprofit. We believe in giving people a hand-up, not a hand-out. Habitat manages affordable mortgages for our houses, and our Partner Families pay their houses off just as anyone else would. This is why one of our requirements for our Partner Family is “the ability to pay.” We want to be sure the families can afford the house to avoid foreclosure. Partner Families also put in 350 hours worth of sweat equity – work on the house.
2. Does Rice County Habitat take donated household items?
We are not able to take your used appliances, furniture or other household items. Here are some organizations that do:
- Habitat for Humanity ReStores – there is not a ReStore in Rice County but there are several around the state.
- Community Action Center – the Community Action Center in Northfield accepts food for the Food Shelf and household goods (including clothing and small appliances) for the Clothes Closet throughout the year. 507.645.1399
- Used a Bit – Contact Used a Bit which is a store run by the Northfield Senior Center. 507-645-1399
- St. Vincent dePaul – this center serves several hundred people weekly with food, clothing and household items in Faribault and may be able to take some items. Pick up may be available. 507.334.2100
- Salvation Army – for specific questions about donations to Faribault call 507.333.1336. Metro Salvation Army picks donations up in their service area that includes Lonsdale, Northfield and Dundas, 612.332.5855
- All Seasons Community Services – this non-profit is located in Kenyon and Faribault. 507.334.5072
- Bridging – the mission of Bridging is to provide families and individuals transitioning out of homelessness and poverty with a one-time gift of quality furniture and household goods to stabilize and improve lives while effectively using community resources. They might pick donations up. 952.888.1105
3. Does Rice County Habitat take donations of building supplies?
In some cases we do take donations of building supplies depending on our needs and storage capabilities. Email Dayna for specifics or with a photo of the donation you have.
4. Are their age limits for volunteering on a build site?
The official rules from Habitat for Humanity International for youth under the age of 18 are:
- Children under 14 are not allowed on the build site regardless of tasks being conducted.
- Youth ages 14-16 can do landscaping and other non-construction activities (MUST BE ACCOMPANIED BY AN ADULT)
- 17-year-olds can do tasks that don’t involve power tools, climbing ladders, scaffolding, etc. (MUST BE ACCOMPANIED BY AN ADULT)
Please check the tasks of the day before bringing people 14-17 to the build site. Or, get involved in a number of other ways if you are too young to build! Other needs on the build site are:
- Prepare and bring a meal to bring to the volunteers on the build site.
- Prepare and bring snacks for morning or afternoon – you can make some cookies or bars to bring out to the site (or make a bunch and we’ll freeze them to use in the future).
- Have a fundraiser at your school or church for Habitat. Be as creative as you want: offer to babysit and have the pay go to Habitat, offer to rake leaves of a neighbor and have the pay go to Habitat, have a bake sale, collect coins at your church and you can pick out an item for the house to buy, or come up with something us completely.