Target and Habitat for Humanity team up to build playhouses

A Target distribution center employee puts finishing touches on a playhouse for a Madison County family. The center, located in West Jefferson, sponsored two playhouses and provided volunteers to build and paint them. Proceeds benefit Habitat For Humanity-MidOhio.

(Posted Aug. 9, 2023)

By Kristy Zurbrick, Madison Editor

On July 17 and July 19, volunteers from the Target distribution center in West Jefferson lent their time and talents to assemble and paint two children’s playhouses for two Madison County families. Habitat for Humanity-MidOhio coordinated the project. The purpose of the program is to provide children with a safe place to play and imagine what home means to them.

For the Playhouse Project, Habitat partners with sponsors to build the playhouses. The cost to sponsor a playhouse is $3,000. Habitat supplies all of the materials, along with a list of the receiving family’s interests to inspire design choices. Sponsors provide the volunteers and the creativity. The houses come pre-cut, primed, and ready to assemble. Assembly and painting takes place at a site of the sponsor’s choosing or at a designated Habitat site.

The Target crew chose the Beck’s Hybrids facility on Route 40 near Lafayette for their assembly site. As is the case with all Playhouse Project builds, the Target-sponsored playhouses were each finished in a day, with receiving families picking of their houses at the end of the builds.

Messenger photo by Jeff Pfeil
Volunteers from the Target distribution center in West Jefferson paint and assemble a children’s playhouse for a Madison County family.

“It’s really, really a fun outing for our sponsors,” said E.J. Thomas, president and CEO of Habitat for Humanity-MidOhio. “It’s not complicated because we provide good instructions, and we always have someone on site to help guide the volunteers.”

Habitat established the Playhouse Project in 2019. Since then, the organization has seen 190 playhouses built and donated in their service area which includes Franklin, Licking, and Madison counties. The goal this year is 70 playhouses.

Volunteers celebrate the completion of a “Cars” movie-themed playhouse.

The program serves as a fundraiser. All proceeds go toward Habitat’s main mission: building, rehabilitating, and repairing homes for families in need. In fiscal year 2023 (ending in June of this year), Habitat for Humanity-MidOhio served 108 families. Among them was a Madison County family for which the organization completed critical home repairs.

“The playhouses are a great way for sponsors to dip their feet into our sponsorship pool. We have a lot sponsors who start out with a playhouse project and end up sponsoring part of or a full house construction down the road,” Thomas said. “Our ability to serve is based on the amount that we’re able to raise toward our programs.”

Messenger photo by Jeff Pfeil
With plenty of paint on hand, Elijah Knoll, special project assistant with Habitat for Humanity-MidOhio, looks over plans for a children’s playhouse to be built by volunteers from the Target distribution center in West Jefferson.

Families interested in applying to receive a playhouse can contact Lisa Jones at For information about volunteer and sponsorship opportunities for the Playhouse Project or for Habitat’s broader mission, contact Kate Ames at or visit

In addition to playhouse sponsors, Habitat welcomes volunteers to work behind the scenes, creating the playhouse kits and priming the pieces. Kit creation is open to volunteers who are 18 or older and have basic woodworking skills. Volunteers must be at least 12 years old to help with priming the pieces. Habitat also is looking for individuals 18 or older to serve as captains, guiding sponsor groups through the assembly and painting process.

Previous articleLending Tackle Box invites all to drop a line or lend a line
Next articlePublic invited to Overdose Awareness Day


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here
This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.