Frequently Asked Questions

Do you have questions about an upcoming homebuild? Visit our list of frequently asked questions and answers.

Is there someone at IOCC I can contact directly with questions?

Dan Christopulos
Country Representative USA
dchristopulos@iocc.org
612-308-5407 (call or text)

What is the cost? How do I make my payment?

The volunteer contribution depends on location. The cost will be listed with each site location on the registration page. Full payment is due any time after registration, but must be paid in full 30 days prior to deployment. Payments for open group builds can be made here: Home Build Payment

If you're part of a closed group, a payment link has been sent to you.

What is included in the cost of registration?

The volunteer contribution includes: all local transportation, housing, food (3 meals a day plus snacks), materials, supplies, tools, and site supervision.

Are there age requirements? Do I need to sign a release?

The minimum age will vary from site to site, but typically (although not exclusively) the minimum age will be 16 years old. Please inquire with usprograms@iocc.org if you have specific age-related questions. When 16 and 17-year-olds participate they will need to be either accompanied by a legal guardian or their legal guardian will need to sign a power-of-attorney to act on their behalf during the duration of the deployment. Individuals 18 and older will need to sign a release form in order to participate. The appropriate forms will be emailed to you prior to the start of your work week. There are no maximum age requirements!

How do we get to the Home Build location?

Transportation to and from the Home Build city in is at your own expense. You can either fly or drive, whichever is best for you!

Which airport do I fly into? When do I need to arrive by? Depart by?

This will vary by location and dates of service. Please find your specific week below. Please also note that depending on when you arrive/depart and when the rest of the team arrives/departs, there may be significant down time at the airport. You are certainly welcome to arrive before or stay after the work week in order to explore the location on your own; however, IOCC will not cover expenses or provide itinerary before or after the scheduled volunteer days. Once you arrange your travel, please share the itinerary with IOCC staff (dchristopulos@iocc.org).

Where will the accommodations be? What will they be like?

IOCC will always secure housing accommodations for the group to stay together for the week. Because we try to keep costs low, these housing options are primarily “mass housing.” Each individual will always have their own bed or air mattress; however, we are often in a large room with other people. Males and females will likely be in separate sleeping areas. There is very little chance that you will have a private room, but this will vary from location to location. You will have access to a private shower and bathroom (although shared). Each location will also vary on whether you need to bring a sleeping bag and towel; this information will be sent to you in a packing list specific to your week and location.

What will be our schedule during the week?

This will also vary by week and location. Each day will include meals together, prayers, and various evening activities that may include exploring the city, having a game night, or merely resting. Each day we will begin and end the day with prayers or a service, as appropriate. We will always make an effort to visit a nearby Orthodox Parish.

What will we do for meals? What if I am fasting? Or have dietary restrictions?

Meals will be a combination of preparation, dining with local church communities, and going to local restaurants. Breakfast is casual and on your own before departing for the worksite, lunch is packed by each volunteer prior to the morning departure, and dinner will vary throughout the week. Snacks will also be provided throughout the week.

We will absolutely work with you to make sure that you are appropriately and well fed throughout the week. If your restrictions are specific and complicated we will need your help in knowing how to accommodate your restrictions and will likely bring you grocery shopping with us.

Who will we be helping?

We are working in communities that have been affected by a severe weather event within the last year. You will be helping survivors rebuild or repair their home, which has been damaged in the severe weather event. Depending on the location and the week we may work on only one home, but we may also work on many homes throughout the week. It is possible we will be able to meet the survivors; however, this is not always possible.

How much money should I bring?

All of your basic needs will be covered after you arrive. However, you will need to cover the cost of food on your way to/from the build city. We will also have time to explore the area in the evenings, so you may want to bring a little personal spending money if you plan to visit any shops in the area.

What will orientation consist of?

Orientation is held for all volunteers upon their arrival, before the work week starts. Orientation will include getting to know the other members of the group, learning about IOCC, learning about our project partner, and learning about the disaster that brought us to the area and how the community was affected. We’ll also go through the expectations for the week ahead.

Can we gather and share photos with the group?

After your work week IOCC staff will create a photo sharing platform on a site like Google Drive or Dropbox. You can download photos from other volunteers and upload yours to be shared. IOCC may also use these photos in future publicity.

How do I provide IOCC with feedback?

We will send out an evaluation form after you return so you can share with us about your experience. We are always looking for ways to improve, we really value your feedback. The feedback will be through google forms, which makes them anonymous. However, don’t feel like you need to wait for the evaluation form to be sent out if you have feedback you’d like to share right away.

Should I worry about security?

IOCC will not select a Home Build location if there are serious security concerns. We will brief you on security specific to your location closer to the build dates. Each of the facilities we will be staying in are secure, however, it is not recommended you bring items of value (such as electronics).

Will there be internet at our housing facility?

It is highly likely there will be internet available at the housing locations; however, this will vary from site to site. The strength and speed will also vary.

What should I pack?

This will vary from location to location; however, many of the items will be similar no matter the location. A packing list specific to your build location will be sent to you in the weeks prior to your departure. Items that are consistent throughout all the locations:

Clothes:

  • Please check the weather in the days prior to your departure
  • All of the locations will be hot and likely humid during the summer months
  • Old clothes that are comfortable to work in and able to get dirty (or even possibly ruined)
  • Required: Closed-toed shoes at all times while on the construction site. Boots are preferred but tennis shoes are certainly acceptable
  • Long pants are preferred on the worksite, but shorts are also acceptable
  • Flip flops for the shower
  • Nice clothes for evenings in town/out to dinner
  • One set of clothes should we attend worship

Personal Items:

  • Insect repellent
  • Sunscreen
  • Bandana
  • Baseball cap
  • Sunglasses
  • Reusable water bottle
  • Personal care items

Items Provided by IOCC & Parter Staff:

  • All necessary tools
  • Water on the construction site
  • Transportation to the local store should you have forgotten something :)