Operation Playhouse

Operation Playhouse is a unique program that benefits local Veterans and military families and their children.

Read more about our Operations Playhouse Build-a-Thon Metrowest.

Read more about our Operations Playhouse Build-a-Thon Greater Worcester.

If you don’t want to take part in a Build-A-Thon, you can build your playhouse right at your own site if the space is appropriate! See more details below – Where and When Can I Take Part in Operation Playhouse?

If you are a Veteran or military service member who would like to receive a playhouse for your child or grandchild, please click here.

If you would like to build a playhouse for a Veteran or military service member family, please continue to read the helpful information below. 

How Does Operation Playhouse Benefit Veterans?
Children of veterans are often left with a one-parent household and have to cope with feelings of loss and uncertainty. The playhouses provide a special place for family members to bond, play, dream, and think.  It is a “home” of their own.

We are proud to give back to those who have served our country and encourage our partners to do the same. Habitat for Humanity MetroWest/Greater Worcester is the only Habitat affiliate in Massachusetts to offer this program, and one of a handful across the U.S. to honor service men and women through Operation Playhouse.

“I wanted to write and personally thank you for our Playhouse we received last month. The kids love it and we are so grateful. Words cannot express our true appreciation for what you, Habitat and all the participants did. You guys are simply amazing. God Bless!” -Kevin, Robyn, Reagan and Georgia Preston

How Does It Work?
Teams work together to construct and decorate colorful and themed children’s playhouses, which are then donated to the Veteran family at the end of the day.

Where and When Can I Take Part in Operation Playhouse?
There are many options for your team to take part in building a playhouse to benefit the family of a Veteran!

We build outdoors from May 1st – September 30th and indoors from October 1st – April 30th.

• The playhouse can be built right at your own site, indoors or outdoors, if the space is big enough and appropriate. (We need a 40’x32′ space for each playhouse to lay down tarps).
• Or, you can find your own space, off-site, at which you’d like to build the playhouse. Our community outreach manager will make an appointment to check out the site beforehand.
• We have a partnership with Veterans Inc. in Worcester to use their beautiful indoor Armory space, which easily holds up to 10 playhouses.
• You can join one of our Operation Playhouse Build-A-Thons that we hold in MetroWest and Greater Worcester (see above).

Who Builds the Playhouses?
Teams of 8 – 12 people can build Playhouses: corporations, faith groups, community organizations, and groups of friends.

What Happens Before the Operation Playhouse Event?
Before your Operation Playhouse event, our Community Outreach Manager will contact the parents of the child who is scheduled to receive a playhouse.  The interests of the child are determined, and a theme for the playhouse is chosen.  Typical themes are pirate ship, firehouse, barnyard, sports teams, princess, and many more.  The themes are then passed along to each partner who is building the playhouse so they can be prepared for their day. Decorations for the playhouse are optional, and some teams choose to purchase them.

The Day of Your Event
On the day of your playhouse event, your team will gather at a pre-selected site from 8 AM to 4 PM.  You will build the playhouse from a kit, paint, and decorate the playhouse according to your theme.  At about 3 PM, the Veteran family arrives at the site to receive the playhouse. The child is surprised and delighted, and it is a touching, personal, and heartwarming conclusion to the day.

Your team will meet the family, spend time with them, and learn about the Veteran’s service to our country.

“Can’t thank the folks at Operation Playhouse enough! They knocked it out of the park with their generosity, kindness and craftsmanship. My kids absolutely love the playhouse, and practically spend every day in it, thanks again all!” – MAJ Matthew R. Paquin, AO/HHD Commander MEDCOM

Do I Need Experience?
No experience is necessary!  The playhouses are built from a kit, which our local technical high schools put together for us at no cost.  While you will be using some tools for simple construction tasks, we have experienced staff and volunteers on-site all day to help you every step of the way.  There is plenty of time during the day to build the playhouse, paint and decorate it before the family arrives.

What We Provide
We provide all tools, paints, and a table on which to store the items.  We also provide staff and volunteers to help you during the day.

What Do You Contribute?
Our partners contribute a tax-deductible donation of $2,500 for each playhouse built to cover the cost of materials, our staff time, and to further our efforts to expand Operation Playhouse to give back to more local Veterans and military families who have served our country.  Some partners choose to purchase decorations to go along with the theme of their playhouse, based on the interests of the children. This is optional. Please see suggested decorations here: Decorations for Playhouse.

When Do We Build?
We build all year long.  Weather permitting, we build outdoors and can come to your site, space permitting.  If it rains, or the weather is too cold for paint to dry, we have a partnership with Veterans Inc. in Worcester. They allow us to use their indoor space, suitable for many playhouses to be built at one time.

“My family is very grateful for the support that Habitat for Humanity provided us. The playhouse they built for our two sons was a wonderful gift. The boys absolutely love it! We cannot thank them enough for their kindness and generosity.” -Glen Kernusky

Build-A-Thon Events
“Build-A-Thons” are events where many partners gather at once to build playhouses, either in MetroWest or Greater Worcester.  If you wish to be part of a Build-A-Thon, let us know.  We are currently scheduling Build-A-Thons for 2018.  To get involved Contact: Deb Huegel at Deborah.Huegel@habitatmwgw.org.

I am a Veteran.  How do I request a Playhouse?
If you are a Veteran or a military service member living in New England, please contact our Community Outreach Manager, David Hamilton, at David.Hamilton@habitatmwgw.org or 508-799-9259 X 119.

Ready to Move Forward with an Operation Playhouse Build?
Please contact Deb Huegel at Deborah.Huegel@habitatmwgw.org.

Please take a look at some of our videos below to view some recent Operation Playhouse events that took place.  The event is unique and about as feel-good and rewarding of an event that you and your team will ever take part in!


A huge thank you to our solar partner New England Clean Energy and Canadian Solar Inc. for providing our Playhouses with solar powered lights!

NewEnglandCleanEnergy 2Image result for canadian solar logo

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