Jimmy Carter Work Project 2016 | Memphis, TN

The Carters started building with Habitat in 1984 in New York, with just a few dozen volunteers traveling with them.  The Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter Work Project became an annual event that the Carters participate in every year.

Volunteers in Memphis, who traveled from across the country, joined the more than 92,000 people who have worked alongside the Carters over the years. The volunteers began showing up to the site before sunrise, excited to begin the week. After breakfast, President Carter spoke to the volunteers who went on to build 19 new homes, work on 10 beautification projects and six aging in place repairs that will help older homeowners stay in their homes.

Check out the video for a glimpse of this inspiring event!



Attention Volunteers!

We’ve got a new look!

Habitat’s website and our online volunteer management system, Volunteer Hub, have recently been updated. New volunteers can more easily navigate their way to their preferred volunteer activity and date, and returning volunteers can still quickly get to Volunteer Hub to sign up for their next build experience!

To access Volunteer Hub, please click on VOLUNTEER in the top menu on the San Diego Habitat website. Then click on RETURNING VOLUNTEER – SIGN UP HERE!

Helpful tip! To easily access Volunteer Hub, create a bookmark on your computer!

If you have any questions or need help signing into Volunteer Hub, please contact Chris Orkwis at chris.orwis@sandiegohabitat.org.

SDHFH Recognized for Excellence in its Volunteer Program

service enterprise

San Diego Habitat for Humanity is pleased to announce that it has been certified as a Service Enterprise. A Service Enterprise is an organization that fundamentally leverages volunteers and their skills to successfully deliver on their social mission.  SDHFH has been recognized for the outstanding engagement of volunteers like you in helping to make the homeownership dreams of hardworking San Diegans a reality.

With this certification, SDHFH becomes one of the first organizations in California to be recognized as a Service Enterprise by CaliforniaVolunteers, the state service commission in California.  Less than 15% of organizations nationwide can be characterized as Service Enterprises, and we are honored to receive this distinction.

Research conducted by the TCC Group, a national program and evaluation firm, found that organizations operating as Service Enterprises outperform peer organizations on all aspects of organizational effectiveness, and are more adaptable, sustainable and capable of scaling their work.  For every $1 invested in effective volunteer engagement, Service Enterprise organizations can expect up to $6 in return through more effective program delivery, which represents a 600% return on investment.

SDHFH completed an extensive assessment, training/consulting, and certification process that led to this recognition. By achieving this level of excellence and certification, SDHFH is now better equipped to utilize the time and talent of volunteers in continuing our mission to help offer a hand up, not a handout, to San Diego families.

For more information on how you can get involved with SDHFH, please visit  Volunteer Hub or contact Chris Orkwis at chris.orkwis@sandiegohabitat.org. For further information regarding the CaliforniaVolunteers Service Enterprise Initiative, please visit: www.CaliforniaVolunteers.org.

Encore Capital Returns to the ReStore Every Month


Our ReStore could not operate without the help of our volunteers, and Encore Capital Group has been redefining what it means to support us.  They have dedicated themselves to taking on a regular ReStore shift one day each month.  These regularly scheduled shifts are very helpful in keeping the ReStore operating smoothly because the volunteers take ownership of a project or department.

“We find the work at San Diego Habitat for Humanity worthwhile and fun because we know that our efforts go directly to helping the community and people who the group serves,” said Marianne Campbell, Encore Capital Group’s Director of Corporate Social Responsibility.

We are thankful for all of the volunteers from Encore Capital Group who dedicate their time to improving the lives of countless San Diegans! If your company, congregation, military, community or school group would like to set up a monthly shift in the ReStore, please contact us.

Spotlight on: Military Volunteers

San Diego Habitat is able to build all year long thanks to the willingness of our military volunteers who not only work hard to serve our country every day, but who also work tirelessly on the job site to help build homes for families in need.  Over 50% of Habitat’s construction work days are filled with volunteers from various military commands across the county.  We are so incredibly grateful for your service to our country and to Habitat!

31st Annual Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter Work Project

Former President Jimmy Carter and his wife, Rosalynn,  build and repair homes in Dallas and Fort Worth, Texas

For more than three decades, the Jimmy & Rosalynn Carter Work Project has served as a catalyst for raising awareness about the need for improved access to affordable housing by empowering people to bring hope, stability and housing solutions to their communities. To date, more than 88,000 volunteers have built, renovated and repaired 3,833 homes in 14 countries during the previous 30 annual events, shedding light on the role decent housing provides families in breaking the cycle of poverty.

Hosted jointly by Dallas Area Habitat for Humanity and Trinity Habitat for Humanity in Fort Worth, more than 5,000 volunteers joined the Carters to help build or repair more than 100 homes in seven days.

“Since first volunteering to build with us in 1984, the Carters remain two of Habitat’s most prolific and vocal proponents of affordable housing. We are grateful that they have once again partnered with us to help build a world where everyone has a decent place to live,” said Jonathan Reckford, CEO of Habitat for Humanity International. “We are also grateful to the volunteers, sponsors and supporters who are making this Carter Work Project possible.”

A Habitat Volunteer Does the Extraordinary

John Zawis, a 29-year veteran of the U.S. Navy, father of two and grandfather of five, spends 3-4 days a week on a Habitat job site. He is what Habitat affectionately refers to as a “regular,” a generous volunteer crew leader who manages crews weekly.

John embarked on a single day home -building mission to Tijuana, Mexico this October sponsored by the Santa Ana based non-profit, Corazon. Homes are funded by sponsor organizations and families who support annual builds through donation and volunteer work.

John and his volunteer crew began their day of service with an early morning caravan to the Nuevo Milenio district where they were greeted by local Corazon staff and community volunteers. Materials were pre-staged for the build and the group of twenty-seven Americans of mixed construction skill levels formed four crews for the day.

The house became a home as final touches like windows, doors, and trim were added to the constructed framework.  The build was concluded by a brief ceremony in which the family received the keys to their new home and offered gratitude to all those who helped given them a home.

John has proven his commitment to improving quality of life for generations to come through his work with Habitat for Humanity in San Diego, and we’re proud that he has taken that passion and care to our wonderful neighbors in Mexico.  Way to go, John!

See more of John’s build with Corazon! 

Be The Change You Wish To See In The World

San Diego Habitat would like to share the awesome story of a deeply inspiring member of our Habitat community, who has committed to affecting true change by taking on a new volunteering adventure every week for the 50 weeks leading up to her 50th birthday! Way to be the change you wish to see in the world, Jemma! Habitat stands behind you! Click here to read more.

University of San Diego Chapter Empowers Students

The latest addition to the Habitat family is the University of San Diego Habitat for Humanity Campus Chapter!  A campus chapter is a student-led, student-initiated organization on a high school or college campus that partners with the local Habitat affiliate to fulfill four functions – building, fundraising, advocating and educating – in support of the greater Habitat mission.

USD Habitat for Humanity, with over 50 members currently, seeks to empower students as change-makers in their community. Over the past year, the student-led executive board has worked tirelessly to establish an organization on campus that promotes the dignity of individuals in our community. As a part of Habitat for Humanity International, their shared goal is to help provide low income families with access to affordable homes as well as a stable and secure environment.

USD1         USD2

On Saturday, October 4th, eleven club members spent the day volunteering at the San Diego Habitat for Humanity ReStore.  From putting together a king-sized bed to measuring doors and building a set of cabinets, these committed and enthusiastic students came ready to roll up their sleeves and make a difference! “Working at the Restore is fun and you never know what crazy things you’ll be doing during your shift,” commented USD Habitat’s President, Alexa Argumedo.  “As a unit we can really make a difference.”

The group acknowledged that the experience was not only a volunteer opportunity, but a meaningful way to give back to the Habitat community!

“Thank you to all who made it possible for USD to visit and help out, and a huge shout-out to Shandy, Sam, and Jeff for making the experience so memorable! Thank you for taking the time to teach, explain, and help us develop various projects! It was a great day, and USD Habitat for Humanity is happy to say that we will be returning for another chance to volunteer very soon!” ~ Allyson Myer, Vice President, USD Habitat for Humanity

For more information about USD Habitat for Humanity, click here.

Volunteer Spotlight!


Beige Rivera, an employee at Cox Communications, has recently been very busy volunteering with us at Habitat. She built with us three times this past May and loved it! She was the only one from Cox to build for Women Build, then at the Lakeside build site, and then at the Cox Call Center where she worked on building playhouses for local families through Habitat’s Playhouse Program.

Through the support of her family and friends, she was able to raise enough money for her Women Build tool belt. The joy Beige showed for “getting in the dirt” is inspiring and we hope all of our volunteers have as much of a good time building as she did.

Thank you, Beige, for all of your hard work!