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Johns Island, South Carolina

April 14, 2013 to April 20, 2013

Come join us for a working spring vacation in South Carolina, help build a safe, sustainable home and learn some new skills. No previous experience is needed, just willing hands and a willing heart. Make new friends, enjoy the South while the weather is cool, and know that you will forever change the lives of a family.

About Johns Island, S.C.
Sea Island Habitat for Humanity (SIHH) is located 20 minutes away from historic downtown Charleston, S.C. With many world-renowned restaurants, shops, galleries and activities, Charleston is a city that has much to offer visitors, and a destination that is rich in culture and history. There are also several county parks near SIHH’s office, offering attractions such as biking, kayaking and a chance to see the 1,500 year old Angel Oak tree. In addition, there are several beaches close by, which allow visitors to enjoy South Carolina’s beautiful coastline.

SIHH’s office is on Johns Island off the coast of South Carolina, and it serves the housing needs of South Carolina’s barrier islands. SIHH serves the area from James Island to Edisto Island, S.C.  In the 1960s, steel bridges were built going out to Johns Island and several of the other barrier islands, and in the 1970s the two islands on the end of Johns Island were developed. This new development and the close proximity of SIHH’s service area to downtown Charleston, whose size and housing market has exploded in recent years, have contributed to the increased cost of housing on the barrier islands. Decent, affordable housing has become something that is rare on the Sea Islands.

Many of SIHH’s applicants currently live in conditions which many think no longer exist in the United States. SIHH sees applicants with no running water, heat or floors in their homes. When residents are fortunate enough, they reside with extended family; but often families are not in positions to offer support. Because of these conditions and the level of poverty that exists on the South Carolina barrier islands, there is a great need to provide simple, decent and affordable houses in order to erase such sub-standard conditions.

About Sea Island Habitat for Humanity
SIHH was founded in 1978 and is the third oldest Habitat for Humanity affiliate in the world. Since 1978 SIHH has built more than 300 single-family homes. This year, SIHH’s goal is to build eight new homes. SIHH began using new house designs last year, with one of the new designs being a two-story home– the first two-story home SIHH has built. Each design is Earthcraft certified and uses sustainable building techniques. Learn more about SIHH at

Types of construction for volunteers
The majority of the homes built are new construction and are wood frame houses that are either one or two stories. Volunteers help SIHH in all aspects of new construction, including digging foundations, framing, roofing, installing windows and doors, appliances, vinyl siding, insulation, sheetrock, painting and finish work. In addition, SIHH’s ReStore now has a deconstruction department. During deconstruction projects, materials are taken out of homes that will be remodeled or demolished and sold at our Habitat ReStore to produce additional funds for new homes and keep materials out of landfills. Volunteers may have the opportunity to work with this program as well. All tools and construction and deconstruction site materials will be provided by the affiliate. SIHH has supervisors on staff as well as AmeriCorps members to supervise all projects.

Standard itinerary
Day 1 (Sunday, April 14): Greeted at the Charleston, S.C. airport by team leader; check into housing; dinner and team meeting.
Day 2 (Monday, April 15): Breakfast at HFH lodging, orientation at SIHFH office, tour of Habitat ReStore, tour of HFH communities, tour of present work site and cultural activities in Charleston.
Days 3-6 (Work days, Tuesday, April 16-Friday, April 19): Breakfast before traveling to work site; work from 8 a.m.-4 p.m. with lunch on-site; free-time after work to clean up; time for team activities; special events throughout the week (shopping, tours, plantations, dinners out, dinners with homeowners, volunteers and staff).
Day 7(Final Day, Saturday April 20): Depart from Charleston airport.

SIHH has two Habitat homes in a Habitat neighborhood available for volunteer groups. These homes are fully furnished complete with cookware and utensils in the kitchen. Groups need to provide their own bed linens (all twin beds) as well as towels. All food will be the responsibility of the team (unless a partner family volunteers to provide a meal) and teams are encouraged to create a dinner or event to invite partner families to attend.

Program cost
(For more details about what is included in this cost, visit Global Village program cost.)

Build a better world: Take the Global Village Challenge
Habitat for Humanity International is challenging Global Village volunteers to make an even greater impact on the global issue of poverty housing. We are asking all GV teams to help us raise an additional $1.1 million in the coming year to support Habitat’s building projects worldwide. Take up the challenge! Join us in sharing our story and building a better world!

Team leaders
John Mitchell, a retired school teacher, is committed to creating a team of skilled or unskilled, flexible people who desire to help a family build their home, make lasting friendships and learn about the culture and history of the city.
For more information about this trip and how to apply, please contact John at

To apply for a GV trip, please follow the Application Instructions.

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