United States and Canada Featured Location: South Carolina
Sea Island Habitat for Humanity is located 20 minutes away from historic downtown Charleston, South Carolina. The affiliate’s office is off the coast of South Carolina on Johns Island and serves the housing needs of South Carolina’s Sea Islands.
Charleston is rich with culture and history and offers many world-renowned cultural festivals, restaurants, shops, galleries and activities. The area offers beautiful beaches, several county parks offering opportunity for biking, kayaking and the chance to see the 1,500-year-old Angel Oak tree.
Sea Island Habitat for Humanity serves the area from James Island to Edisto Island, South Carolina. The population is a mix of residents whose families have lived on the islands since the pre-Civil War era and new residents of largely Hispanic immigrant families who have moved to the area in recent years. The construction of steel bridges to the island and several other barrier islands in the 1950s and 1960s led to an influx of people moving to the islands.
Decent, affordable housing has become difficult to obtain on the Sea Islands. Two resort islands were developed on the end of Johns Island in the 1970s, and the areas are now filled with multi-million dollar homes and vacation rentals. The development of these resort destinations and the close proximity to downtown Charleston—a city with a skyrocketing size and housing market—have contributed to dramatically increasing housing costs on the islands.
Many families on South Carolina’s barrier islands are living with no running water, heat or finished floors. It is common for families to house extended family members, and consequently, overcrowding is often an issue. Because of substandard housing conditions and the level of poverty that exists on the South Carolina Sea Islands, there is a great need to provide simple, decent and affordable houses.
Sea Island Habitat for Humanity was the third Habitat for Humanity affiliate, founded in 1978. In the past three decades, Sea Island Habitat for Humanity has built over 265 single-family homes. The affiliate is using new, sustainable-building house designs this year, including plans for its first two-story house.
Types of construction for volunteers
Sea Island Habitat for Humanity primarily builds new homes that are stick-frame and one or two stories. All tools and construction site materials are provided by the affiliate. All supervisors are highly trained and skilled in volunteer management and construction, and sites have no greater than a 10 to 1 ratio of volunteers to supervisors.
James Island, Johns Island, Wadmalaw Island, Hollywood and Edisto Island
Teams will fly into Charleston International airport, where the team leader will rent vehicles for the team.
Teams will stay in fully furnished Habitat homes used to house volunteer groups. Groups need to provide their own bed linens (all twin beds) as well as towels.
Team members are responsible for meal preparation. Volunteer house kitchens are stocked with cooking utensils. Teams are encouraged to host a dinner or event for partner families during the week.
Hosting structure and services
Sea Island Habitat for Humanity’s volunteer coordinator will be the point of contact for all teams in the planning process and during the trip. The affiliate encourages homeowner interaction with volunteer groups and highly recommends that the team invite homeowners for a dinner or social events.
Day 1 (Typically Sunday, Arrival day): Greeted at the Charleston International airport by team leader; check into volunteer housing; tour of area; dinner.
Day 2 (Monday, Orientation): Breakfast at 7 a.m.; orientation at affiliate office at 8 a.m.; build site 9 a.m.–4 p.m.; free time to clean; dinner; time for team activities.
Days 3–6 (Tuesday–Friday, Work): Breakfast at 7 am; build site 8 a.m.–4 p.m.; free time to clean; dinner; time for team activities.
Day 7 (Departure day): Team members depart.
$910–1,100. View the standard budget.
10 participants or more.
August, September and November are suggested.
Volunteer Engagement specialist
If you have read the FAQs and have further questions before you submit a Global Village trip proposal, please contact U.S. volunteer programs manager Natalie Nuce at NNuce@habitat.org.